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"Through Cricket, Blagden offers a fine masculine viewpoint that expresses the intensity of grief."
"Readers who like male protagonists and gritty, contemporary settings will enjoy this carefully crafted novel."
—VOYA, 3Q 3P J S
"Cricket conveys his damage through a wildly inventive voice; his often profound philosophies and speculations about life, parents, art, sex, and God are couched in energetic (and sometimes shockingly profane) imagery that turn ordinary language into the verbal equivalent of a Chihuly glass sculpture--colorful, twisted, brittle, and arresting."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Holden Caulfield, meet 2013. With his irreverent, hilarious, and heartbreaking first novel, one thing is clear: Scott Blagden is the real thing."
"Dear Life, You Suck will certainly offend a few and delight thousands. Profane, sacrilegious, and defiant, this debut novels crackles with energy. It has depth and human significance, by which I mean the real stuff of real life."
"Cricket Cherpin is profane, funny, hard, vulnerable, kind, angry. In other words, he's as complex and as unique as you or me. His unusual and realistic voice will grab you from the first page and stay with you long after the last one."
—Francisco X. Stork
"Dear Cricket, you rock!"
Posted March 25, 2013
The Low Down: Cricket Cherpin isn’t the kind of guy who starts fights, but he sure will finish them. The oldest kid living at the Naskeag Home for Boys, he looks out for the younger ones and steps in when they need help. Unfortunately, his bad attitude and any return volleys in the punching department don’t help foster a great relationship with either the school principal or Mother Mary, the nun who runs the home. After eight long years, you’d think they’d get it by now: he’s not going to break down and cry on their shoulders like some weepy girl, no matter what. His past is his past, and it’s going to stay there. He's got vodka, a joint and his simmering anger to keep him warm at night. Though he wishes it were Wynona Bidaban.
What kind of future is there for a guy like Cricket? Does he even have one? He’s just a pain-in-the-ass waste of space, right? He could just say sayonara right now and save everyone a lot of trouble . But what would the little guys at the Home think about that? Who would tell them their stories and stand up for them at school?
Sometimes, though, all you need is a change of scenery to see things from a different perspective, to have a little hope. It doesn’t hurt that Wynona is the cause of some of that change. Maybe that adjustment will be all it takes for Cricket to finally believe that life still sucks occasionally, but it can be wonderful as well. And he deserves it.
Opinions? Yeah, I Got Some: Cricket is the kind of guy that you don’t know whether to stomp away from or force into a motherly hug. Though the story didn’t hold many surprises, the manner in which it was written was either going to make you love or hate the main character, and in a hurry. He’s a closed-off entity with a foul mouth and even fouler thoughts. He’s irreverent, obscene, raunchy and indecent. He has a hard shell on the outside with a gooey marshmallow center, though there is a layer of rusty nails and scar tissue in between.
A great book for anyone who likes to have their redemption flavored by salty tears and served with an extra-large helping of filter-free smartass.
The Bottom Line: Be ready for a rollercoaster of a story; sometimes you’ll be screaming with your hands in the air; sometimes, you’ll be cringing on the floor. Either way, it's a good ride.
Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden was published today by Harcourt Children’s Books. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to Scott Blagden and the Harcourt Children’s Books for my ARC.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary
Ages: 13 and up
You Might Want to Know: Underage drinking and drug use; profanity; frank discussions
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 3, 2013
Posted May 17, 2013
Absolutely fun and wonderful read. Touching in so very many ways. I can't wait to read his next book...Hopefully there will be one.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2013
Posted June 15, 2013
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I'm so in love with this book that I hated to see it end...I wanted it to go on and on like the stories our hero tells the "little ones" at the Naskeag Home for Boys. And have no doubts...Cricket is a hero because he survived a terrible childhood and has now become an unlikely mentor and big brother to his fellow orphans. There are no heroically murdered parents in this orphan's back story, just brutally uncaring parents whose incarceration delivered Cricket first to an equally horrific foster home and then into the multiple bosoms of the Church. He uses not a magic wand to protect himself and his fellow small fry, but his fists; he's not a big guy, but once he commits to a fight - and only in defense of the bullied "little ones" - he won't quit until the guy who started the fight goes down. The book is rife with violence and authentic language and the raging hormones of any teen boy. The book should be read by guys because Cricket is such an unlikely hero; girls should read it because it might make them aim a second look at the supposed loser guy hiding beneath a scar, a hoodie, and a wicked bad attitude. This book made me wince, made me laugh, made me ball up my fists with the need to go back in time to defend Cricket and his baby brother...and, man, did it make me cry. Loved it, and Scott Blagden just went on my short list with Chris Crutcher of authors to recommend to teen guys or any teen reader who wants a book peopled with characters blessed with heart, guts, and wit.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2013
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