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Like We Care
     

Like We Care

4.6 3
by Tom Matthews
 

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What if they just stopped?

What if in a grand, scruffy stab at corporate disobedience, teenagers en masse simply stopped spending their money on the cynical crap that’s relentlessly mainlined to them: the addictive and deadly cigarettes, the hateful music, the crude and desensitizing videos and movies?

What if they stopped buying that

Overview

What if they just stopped?

What if in a grand, scruffy stab at corporate disobedience, teenagers en masse simply stopped spending their money on the cynical crap that’s relentlessly mainlined to them: the addictive and deadly cigarettes, the hateful music, the crude and desensitizing videos and movies?

What if they stopped buying that $#!%—just to cause trouble?

That’s the radical notion behind Like We Care, a biting, clever, and hilarious satire in which two endearingly subversive high school seniors set out to monkey wrench the recording industry, the cigarette industry, the junk food industry – indeed, much of the American money machine. Marrying the internet to corporate America’s own schemes and weapons, they slowly, reluctantly launch a grassroots campaign, with racial, political, and cultural implications, that harnesses the awesome, untapped power of teenagers flush with cash and inflamed by adult hypocrisy.

Drawn into their orbit are two key players: a beautiful but compromised executive for a contemptible music video network, who is torn between her career and the potency of the boys’ message; and an earnest, inspiring, but emotionally fragile social studies teacher. Can this odd foursome succeed? We’re not saying!

But we will say this much: Like We Care encapsulates the youthful callousness and crudeness, the ersatz disobedience, and even the sheep-like tendencies of the current unrebellious generation. By contrast, the book’s two main characters, Todd Noland and Joel Kasten, prove themselves to be true individuals. They send a message to adults: that some teenagers are wise to their games; that, if they must, they’ll lead the less enlightened of their age group; that teenage herd mentality can be a dangerous weapon when in the “right” people’s hands; and that there’s a glimmer of hope that the current lost generation is redeemable.

Editorial Reviews

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“Dark humor and sharp language reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, alongside informed satire, bring a funny and often real vision to the pages. But it is the sense of empowerment that readers feel in the actions of Todd Noland and Joel Kasten that makes this book thrilling and worthwhile."
Nancy Zachary and Cathi Dunn Macrae
“Screenwriter Matthews turns to stinging satire in his first novel. Who could forget the courageous social studies teacher and mentor, Mr. Kolak, who enables his students to recognize racism for themselves? Or the brilliant Todd who emerges from behind the throne? These images, carried by the fast-paced story line and Matthews’s righteous indignation, showcase the talented writing that will make this novel a favorite for high schoolers."
Max Barry
“The brilliance of Like We Care is that it's impossible to tell whether it's outrageous satire or a completely faithful depiction of reality. Either way, it's great fun as Tom Matthews takes a scalpel to the hollow heart of the teen-targeted music industry.” (MAX BARRY IS THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF JENNIFER GOVERNMENT AND SYRUP)
Tom Perrotta
“Like We Care is a fearless, angry, brutally funny poke in the eye of the American music machine and pop culture industry. Tom Matthews’s memorable, highly readable first novel is that rare literary artifact—a satire with teeth.” (TOM PERROTTA IS THE AUTHOR OF LITTLE CHILDREN AND ELECTION)
School Library Journal
“Dark humor and sharp language reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, alongside informed satire, bring a funny and often real vision to the pages. But it is the sense of empowerment that readers feel in the actions of Todd Noland and Joel Kasten that makes this book thrilling and worthwhile."
Nancy Zachary and Cathi Dunn Macrae, VOYA
“Screenwriter Matthews turns to stinging satire in his first novel. Who could forget the courageous social studies teacher and mentor, Mr. Kolak, who enables his students to recognize racism for themselves? Or the brilliant Todd who emerges from behind the throne? These images, carried by the fast-paced story line and Matthews’s righteous indignation, showcase the talented writing that will make this novel a favorite for high schoolers."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890862770
Publisher:
Bancroft Press
Publication date:
11/01/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,295,927
File size:
490 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Tom Matthews wrote the original screenplay Mad City, which hit theaters in 1997. Starring Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, and Alan Alda, it was directed by Costa-Gavras. He has also written scripts for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Twentieth Century Fox, and Walt Disney Pictures, working with such producers as Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Erin Brokovich), Steve Tisch (Forrest Gump), Hunt Lowry (The Last of the Mohicans), and Lynda Obst (Sleepless in Seattle). Prior to launching his screenwriting and novel-writing career, Matthews spent fifteen years working in the motion picture industry as a journalist, film critic, and studio publicist. He's done freelance work for national and regional publications that include L.A. Weekly, Marquee Magazine, Milwaukee Journal, and Creative Screenwriting. Matthews was also a managing editor for Boxoffice Magazine for six years. A Wisconsin native, he lives in Wauwatosa, WI with his wife and two sons. Like We Care is his first published novel.

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Like We Care 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
A small group of teens, a school teacher, and a TV producer shake the foundations of the corporate world in LIKE WE CARE, the debut novel from screenwriter Tom Matthews. What begins as a small protest between friends and hangers-on snowballs into a cross-country, grass roots protest movement with more at stake than mere dollars. With witty dialogue and perfect comedic timing, LIKE WE CARE is that rare adult novel that is not only suitable for teens but is highly recommended.

Joel and Todd were best friends growing up but grew apart with the onset of adolescence -- and Joel's ascendance to the role of alpha-male jock on campus. But after a severe injury in a baseball game, they renew their friendship. As a result, Todd helps Joel take a closer look at his inane lifestyle and his sheep-like followers, particularly concerning their smoking and spending habits. As Joel fully understands how badly the local convenience store - and the advertising world in general - is manipulating him and his peers for their money, he uses his charisma to organize a boycott. Eventually, the protest garners the attention of a TV executive desperate for stories of substance for R2Rev, the music video channel in which she works. Joel's charisma and Todd's message soon resonates across America, influencing impromptu boycotts and small-town elections. But the movement begins to unravel on all fronts as they grow in fame and success and their opponents begin to see what's at stake. Yet Todd refuses to surrender and has a few tricks up his sleeve that provides for a sweet victory when defeat looks certain.

Although satirical in many facets, LIKE WE CARE rings true on all fronts: the high school cliques, the fan-bashing rap stars, the exploitative TV executives, and the price-gouging store owners. This is laugh-out-loud funny but also inspiring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A small group of teens, a school teacher, and a TV producer shake the foundations of the corporate world in LIKE WE CARE, the debut novel from screenwriter Tom Matthews. What begins as a small protest between friends and hangers-on snowballs into a cross-country, grass roots protest movement with more at stake than mere dollars. With witty dialogue and perfect comedic timing, LIKE WE CARE is that rare adult novel that is not only suitable for teens but is highly recommended. Joel and Todd were best friends growing up but grew apart with the onset of adolescence -- and Joel's ascendance to the role of alpha-male jock on campus. But after a severe injury in a baseball game, they renew their friendship. As a result, Todd helps Joel take a closer look at his inane lifestyle and his sheep-like followers, particularly concerning their smoking and spending habits. As Joel fully understands how badly the local convenience store - and the advertising world in general - is manipulating him and his peers for their money, he uses his charisma to organize a boycott. Eventually, the protest garners the attention of a TV executive desperate for stories of substance for R2Rev, the music video channel in which she works. Joel's charisma and Todd's message soon resonates across America, influencing impromptu boycotts and small-town elections. But the movement begins to unravel on all fronts as they grow in fame and success and their opponents begin to see what's at stake. Yet Todd refuses to surrender and has a few tricks up his sleeve that provides for a sweet victory when defeat looks certain. Although satirical in many facets, LIKE WE CARE rings true on all fronts: the high school cliques, the fan-bashing rap stars, the exploitative TV executives, and the price-gouging store owners. This is laugh-out-loud funny but also inspiring. **Reviewed by: Mark Frye, author and reviewer