Reality Boy by A. S. King
At age five, Gerald Faust and his family starred in a reality television show called Network Nanny, similar to a number of shows on television nowadays depicting families in need of professional intervention. The angry child was ignored by his parents while being abused by sister Tasha. In his mind, his only was to protest was to defecate on the kitchen table and anywhere else he knew would humiliate his parents. Thus he became known as the “Crapper.”
“Gerald the spoiled little brat. Gerald the kid who threw violent tantrums that left holes in the drywall and who screamed so loud it made the neighbors call the police. Gerald the messed-up little freak who needed Network Nanny’s wagging finger and three steps to success.” Only now Gerald is in high school, but his nickname and reputation have stuck. His mom has even convinced the school to put in in the special ed class where he stays because at least in there no one bullies him.
This book has so much to love about it. There’s a boy trying to overcome his past. There’s a bit of very hesitant romance. There’s a family that’s so dysfunctional they make the Kardashians look normal. Writer A.S. King sensitively portrays Gerald so readers feel his pain, fear and anger. When he begins to fall for his coworker Hannah, we fall right along with him. What I especially appreciate about King’s books is that her characters are off-beat, even on the edge, but she makes us root for them to make it through the insanity that fills their lives. I recommend this to readers of King’s other titles, fans of John Green, and and readers who like quirky and unusual characters.
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