Friday, January 29, 2016
YA Pick: Me Being Me Is Exacly as Insane as You Being You
by Todd Hasak-Lowy
646 pages (no kidding!)
The girth of this novel will scare away some readers but not if they realize most of the book is written in short, choppy lists. The format is easy to love and easy to read.
Readers will empathize with the main character. Darren's life is messed up! His parents divorce, his older brother goes to college, his best friend moves away, his dad drops a bombshell (he's gay), and later Mom tells him that she's moving across country. No one is acting as they "should," and Darren begins listing everything wrong with everything.
The format works and lets readers see what's bothering Darren through third person point of view as Darren refers to himself in the third person. Emotions leap off the pages through Darren's lists. He feels grief, disappointment, sadness, loneliness, and surprisingly, great compassion.
Through the lists, Darren's voice comes through. He's just a kid who's learning how to fit in. He's a bit overweight and self-conscious, he's seriously crushing on a cute girl, he's not speaking to his dad, he's mad at this mom, and he's disappointed with his brother. All this adds up to the expected overblown teen angst so familiar in YA, but the author does it better. Darren is a character who comes through the pages. Readers will commiserate with him as he navigates through the problems and obstacles with sarcasm and wit.
I thought the novel dragged in several places and easily could have been cut 150 pages or so and still would be a compelling read. A shorter book may have packed a stronger punch. Boys will believe in Darren and girls can study teen boy behavior. It's quite entertaining.
Recommended grade 9-up. This is NOT for middle school. At all. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, profanity. The usual suspects.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.