King of the Screwups by K.L. Going

August 6, 2009 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

kingLiam has even more trouble than most teenagers in fulfilling parental expectations.  Having pretty much abandoned the attempt to make his father proud, he practically ensures that he will be cast out of home.  It could have been to a military boarding school but, in the event, Liam is sent to stay with his mother’s brother—a man Liam thinks of as “Aunt Pete.”   Pete is comfortable with the choices he’s made in life and is not about to let his nephew pressure him into making any changes.  Now living out of a trailer in upstate New York and attending a high school where his reputation is unknown, Liam thinks he can remake himself as a nerd.  There is a plenty of room for humor here, since he has no conception of how nerds dress or act and he keeps finding himself inadvertently the center of attention.
Going does a good job of dispelling common assumptions about gays and straights and of writing with a lot of heart about fully-fleshed characters in interestingly complicated relationships.   Recommended.
Miriam Lang Budin,  Chappaqua
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