Friday, June 26, 2009

King of the Screwups by K.L. Going

K.L. Going really has a way with memorable teen characters who are outsiders. Troy Billings, 296 pounds and suicidal in Fat Kid Rules the World. Iggy Corso, born addicted to crack and pretty much neglected as he grows up in Saint Iggy. I was not so sure about her most recent creation, Liam Gellers in King of the Screwups.

Liam's mother was a world-famous model and now runs a chi-chi clothing boutique. Liam's father is an extremely successful businessman. Liam himself is Mr. Popularity. He has his mother's fabulous looks and an uncanny fashion sense. His problem is that he always seems to screwup big time, end result being that his father kicks him out of the house. Liam goes to live with his gay uncle Pete, a member of a glam-rock cover band, for his final year of high school.

It took me awhile to care about this rich, straight kid who was trying so hard to be someone he was not in order to please his tyrant of a father. By the middle of the book, I was weeping for Liam. Another winning novel from Going. Grade 9 and up.

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