King of the Screwups

>> Sunday, July 22, 2012

Author: K.L. Going
Recommended Age: Young Adult
Publisher: Graphia
ISBN-10: 0547331665
ISBN-12: 978-0547331669
Year Published: 2010
No. Pages: 320
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Main Character Gender: Male
Read & Reviewed by: Nathan

“ You’re a screw-up Liam, did you think that being Mr. Popularity, will be enough to get by in life?” Hurtful, isn’t it. How might you react if this was uttered by your own father?

Liam excels in sports, knows what to wear, ends up with the most beautiful girls, but he has the uncanny ability to screw things up. This ticks off his father the most. Liam comes from a very successful family, His mother was a supermodel and now owns a fashion boutique, and his father runs his own economic empire. Liam is and feels he’ll forever be a screw-up. Wherever Liam goes, he is followed by a cloud of trouble. Finally his father can’t take it anymore and he kicks Liam out of the house. Liam goes to live with his cross-dressing, glam rocker, gay uncle, Aunt Pete. While he is banished, he decides the only way to return home and impress his dad is to become a complete nerd, but being a nerd is a lot harder than he thought. Soon Liam learns there is a lot more to his father and to himself as well.

K.L. Going tells the story of two misfits coming together, Liam and his Uncle Pete, and how all people need to learn to be comfortable in their own skin. She also shows how some misfits can be stereotyped, but in actual fact don’t fit the label. This can been seen through Liam’s view of Darleen, Aunt Pete’s neighbor. When Liam’s first meets Darleen he sees her as a “snob” but as he as he get to know her he realizes a different side of her. Through this relationship, Going shows that you can’t judge a bird by its feathers.

This book was well written because every character had their own unique attributes. For example one of my favorite characters is Eddie. Eddie is a member of Aunt Pete’s band. He is a flamboyant gay man and knows how to “work it”. He wears skintight jeans, light pink dress shirts, has short curly blonde hair and when he plays in the band, he wears a spandex leotard. I like Eddie because he is a strong character, comfortable with who he is and is no less of a man simply because he is gay or how he chooses to dress. I admire that he’s not afraid of what others think of him and that he does not feel the need to change himself for anyone.

Going demonstrates through smooth and simple writing that being at the top of a social power structure is not easy. Stereotypically, Liam’s life should have been easy, as he has a wealthy family and all the privileges associated with wealth. Going is able to show a realistic picture through the eyes of a teenager that just because you have money doesn’t mean there aren’t struggles in life. Dysfunctional families exist whether or not they have money. Going was able to show Liam’s highs and lows using humor. I often found myself laughing out loud

This book took me a week to read. What grabbed me the most was Liam’s personality. He was really confused and angry and at some points almost depressed. As a teenager he was relatable. I would recommend this book to, well, anyone. That’s how good this book was for me. I would definately rate King of the Screwups a 10/10.

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