Customer Reviews for

The Screwed up Life of Charlie the Second

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

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2 Star

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    Speaks to the 'inner geek' in all of us! Hillarious and well-written.

    As he begins his senior year of high school, Charlie Stewart is your classic 17 year old cynical and sarcastic geek ... somewhat like a 'Napoleon Dynamite,' except he is growing up as a constantly-horny openly-gay teen, in a suburban town outside of Chicago. His parents accept their son's sexuality, although they suffer from the usual teen-parent communication problems that make Charlie (named after his ambitious and somewhat overbearing father, whom he refers to simply as 'First') feel alienated from them. Bink, His best friend since second grade, is a straight jock (and the subject of many of Charlie's frequent masturbatory fantasies) whose new girlfriend monopolizes most of his time, and leaving Charlie's only real connection with his peers as the goalie for the school's somewhat-successful soccer team. In the months that follow, Charlie finds his first love, with Rob, a new boy in town with a mother dying of ALS. He also deals with the possibility of his parents divorcing, unwittingly getting involved in some of his friends' family conflicts, uncertainty about his future, as he becomes a more self-assured and ambitious young man. The book is structured as a series of entries in Charlie's private journal, a gimmick I usually frown on, but it's perfect here in letting us get to better know Charlie's feelings and concerns, as well as his mindset in working through problems. His takes on his classmates, teachers and his parents are very perceptive and always hilarious, and you can't help but root for Charlie in his encounters with the 'P's' (his parents) and how he bears up to torment by his peers at school, on the soccer field, and around town. Charlie's struggles ring familiar to the 'inner geek' in all of us, and he gives us hope for everyone going through such struggles. This is a witty, realistic, engaging and well-written 'coming-of-age' novel by a promising new author, which I enthusiastically give five stars out of five!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was certainly not aware of how sexually graphic the book was g

    I was certainly not aware of how sexually graphic the book was going to be beforehand (not that I probably wouldn't have read it anyway). I get that teenage boys are nearly obsessed with sex, but it felt like overkill to me. I would have liked to see Charlie a bit more fleshed out as a character than he was. I'm sure Charlie could be a sex obsessed maniac and still had more depth. And while the book is marketed as YA, this book is better suited for older teens (16+).

    Overall, the only part of the book that's likely to stick with me is the fact that Charlie is probably the world's horniest teenager. That being said, there were parts that I enjoyed and I did find myself laughing out loud a few times.

    2.5/5 stars

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Pretty damn good

    I admit that i relate to the character a lot especially when i was in high school. Very readable and witty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Title Says It All

    It's not unusual for young adult novel writers to use first-person narrative to get the reader inside the protagonist's head; "Screwed-Up Life" does this with the additional twist of the text being a journal of protagonist Charlie (though it's a stretch these days to think that teenagers still write journals). The challenge with a teenage character is that, like teenagers in real life, they can be exasperating with their oblivious to others focus. The reader's take on this novel will largely depend on whether you find Charlie 1) amusing and realistic or 2) annoying and self-absorbed. I tended to lean towards the second impression. Ferguson's novel captures high school cruelty well. The plot takes a surprising curve near the end that seems set up to bring Charlie a new perspective on his parents. And it is satisfying to see Charlie get some revenge on his tormenters. So, it's a tough call; if you empathize with Charlie, you may very well love this book. I didn't, so I have reservations about recommending "Charlie the Second."

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  • Posted October 8, 2010

    So much better than I thought it would be!

    I've been reading a lot of coming-out/coming-of-age novels lately, and this is the best I've read recently. Charlie is already out when the story opens, but the novel is mostly concerned with how Charlie grows into himself. It's incredibly painful to read about some parts of his life, but also made me laugh out loud. He's so easy to love and respect by the end. Very reminiscent of "Napoleon Dynamite", but better.

    Things you should know: this is an 'R' rated novel. The sex scenes aren't graphic, but they are pretty explicit. The painful things that happen to Charlie aren't white-washed, but are described in cringe-making detail.

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  • Posted June 27, 2010

    Wow.

    I had to read this book for a summer project. I absolutely loved this book. It was juicy and I couldnt get enough of it. There was never a dull moment! Reading the first couple of pages it's a little wierd. He talks about his male parts, and his "sex-life". You get a little creeped out by how strong the book is starting off, at just the beginning! Then, you get hooked in! I recommend this book to any one looking for a dramatic but thrilling book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

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