The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second

charlieThe Screwed Up Life of Charlie The Second by Drew Ferguson
2008
263 Pages
5/5

What a brilliant book. The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second is one of the best coming of age stories I’ve read. Really. At the beginning of this book, I kind of thought that Charlie was just this sarcastic mouthed pessimist and he kind of annoyed me. But the more and more I read, the more I liked Charlie. And I realized that this book had a lot more depth than what it first showed. But what’s it all about, you ask?

Well, it’s about the screwed up life of Charlie the Second to put it simply. Charlie is seventeen and like every seventeen year-old male, he’s confused and horny as hell. Charlie’s just been outed by his parents and it’s now known by everyone that he’s gay. His best friend Bink is a little freaked by it at first but comes to terms with it quickly and is supportive. He has the added stress of writing his college essay, thrown onto him by his sometimes overbearing father, and speaking of the parents, they’re getting separated. But there’s one thing that’s keeping him happy right now and that’s Rob, the new guy on the soccer team that quickly becomes Charlie’s newest crush.

I never thought that I’d identify so much with a gay character, but Charlie goes through what every adolescent boy goes through, gay or straight. He’s confused, horny, and challenging his views of the world. He doesn’t censor his thoughts either. The book is told through a series of journal entries that Charlie writes. When talking about his sexual fantasies and habits, he’s blunt about it. It was actually refreshing to see this in a novel. Sexuality is usually either toned down and ignored in YA novels, or it’s there just for shock value. But it serves neither purpose here. It serves only to show an honest view of Charlie and his emotions.

The book was surprisingly touching at times. I didn’t see that coming from the beginning of the book and in those moments when it took on a more serious note, I was taken aback. I actually found myself getting a little choked up. Ferguson tells a story that’s addictive and always engaging. I found myself unable to put this book down and I was so upset when the book was over. I was even more upset to find that this is his first book and nothing else has been published yet! But I’m sure there will be much more to come from Ferguson, and when it does, I’ll be first in line to pick it up. Oh, and Renay..you’ll love this one πŸ˜‰

Other Views and Opinions:

Becky’s Book Reviews
Bookshelves of Doom
Shooting Stars Mag

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8 Responses

  1. Chris,
    This review was fantastic and I MUST read this book. I agree with you about the sexuality being toned down and ignored…I work with middle school kids and happen to be a mom of one, trust me they are thinking of sex and some are being sexually active. Coming of age books are some of my favorites!! I’m off to mark this on Goodreads so I can blame you later and to get it at the library!!!!!

  2. I love that you somehow read this BEFORE me. I’m glad it’s good, though, male-perspective wise. I always wonder about that, to be honest. >.>

    This one is on the pile I took away from the larger one, so I couldn’t get overwhelmed. SOON.

  3. each time you read a “coming of age book” I feel as if you are doing “homework”… as long as they are truthful I do think they help you in some of the work you have chosen as your life’s work.

  4. Want, want, want! I’ve wanted it since Becky’s review and now I want it even more, if possible. And I have a thing for sarcastic mouthed pessimists, so not even that will be a problem for me πŸ˜‰

  5. Well, I somehow missed Becky’s review, so looks like you’ll be getting the blame for this one. πŸ™‚

  6. Staci, Thanks πŸ™‚ It’s a book that I think everyone should read! Really fantastic. I work with adolescents too, but in a counseling setting…and yeah, if a YA book is to be authentic, it definitely shouldn’t ignore sex, lol…not that I’m saying every YA book has to have sex in it, lol.

    Renay, LOL…it is a little humorous that I read this one before you :p Seriously though, you’re going to love this one..I think it’ll be your next Disreputable History…

    Deslily, LOL…you know you’re right :p I do take something from each coming of age story I read that I’m sure influences my job. Not bad homework though!! I’ll take that anyday over taxes :p

    Nymeth, Yes you do want it! You’re going to love this one. I really like sarcastic pessimists too, and Charlie did have me cracking up, but I thought it was over the top at first…then I got to know him and he’s quite a cool kid.

    Debi, I’ll happily accept the blame for this one Debi…it’s fantastic!

  7. I’m so glad to hear this one’s good! A couple months ago I blogged about keywords that brought people to my blog and somehow this books title ended up there – I added it to my wants list asap πŸ™‚

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