Narrative Loserdom: From Journal One by Ryan Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Description: "Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom."
I really enjoyed this retro, slice of life, diary-style story told from a teenage guy's point-of-view. The diary format reminded me a little of the narrators from "Perks of Being A Wallflower" and "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian". There's certainly some guy humor in it that I can't get into being a female, however, it didn't bother me much, cause I know boys will be boys. Overall, the story made me nostalgic, cause the journal is set from 2001 to 2002, the same time frame I was in high school. There the story chronicles the day-to-day mischief, hopes, dreams, loses, failures, and crushes of a guy and his friends.
My one criticism is that the journal stops, in my opinion, very abruptly. While reading the journal, I started to care and wonder if the guy ever did get the girl of his dreams or another girlfriend. Does he graduate high school? What does he go on to do with his life? None of those questions were answered for me. I'm not sure if the author is planning to write a sequel, but I'd like to see it.
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