Reality bites! Luke and Derek are best friends, but there isn't much Luke can do but watch as Derek gets more and more freaked out by his weird stepmother's control over his father. Luke has issues with his parents, too—all his friends are going through the same thing—but nothing like Derek's. Things go from bad to worse when Derek's parents agree to participate in a reality show hosted by Jesus ("It's pronounced Hey-zoos!"), a self-proclaimed mediator between parents and America's troubled young men, described by Jesus as a "hard-wired, self-centered, disrespectful, atheistic, sex-crazed, indulged bunch of losers."
The fan has three speeds. On its lowest gear, I imagined Phoebe, Coco, Derek, Nate, and me gleefully hanging on to each blade as if we were on an amusement ride. That's how I would have described the spring of our sophomore year. By the beginning of that summer, the fan was in second gear, and we were both excited and terrified by its speed. … But that was okay because we were having fun. … But by the middle of the summer, the fan had shifted into third gear, and there was little to do but hang on and enjoy the rush before being tossed into the heat and confusion of August, the four weeks leading up to Derek's appearance on Loserville. —FROM THE BOOK
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.34(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Peter Johnson teaches English and creative writing at Providence College and is the winner of the James Laughlin Award for his collection of prose poems, Miracles & Mortifications. His other books include Love Poems for the Millennium and Pretty Happy!, both collections of prose poems, and I'm a Man, a series of short stories. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Derek's friend, Lucas, is trying to piece together the events that led to Derek's disappearance. The account begins in May as school is wrapping up for the summer. Their group of friends is making plans for summer jobs and, more importantly, summer fun. Everyone has family issues. Lucas's parents view his relaxed attitude as lazy and are constantly on his case about what they call his underachiever habits. Coco and Phoebe are twins dealing with a controlling mother. Nate annoys everyone by insisting that Kurt Cobain is emailing him with evidence that his death was not a suicide. After the death of Derek's mother years ago, he and his father muddled along as best they could. That is until his father met Claudia with her tight tops and short skirts. She isn't exactly the stepmother he had in mind. Hovering in the background as the friends begin their summer activities is the reality show Loserville. As Lucas relates their story, he constantly remarks on the world's addiction to reality TV. Derek is about to become part of the entertainment, because Claudia has booked him a spot on Loserville hosted by Jesus (heys-zoos). A bit like Jerry Springer, Jesus confronts his young guests with evidence of how badly they've messed up their lives. Cameras follow the guests before the actual taping of the show, filming less-than-ideal moments in their lives and then editing it to show their true "loser" lifestyle. Derek's friends try to support him as they wait to see how the show will affect his life. Lucas recounts the events of the summer leading up to Derek's appearance on Loserville and the strange incident that follows. Teen readers will no doubt relate to the high-risk behavior of the characters and their struggle to cope with demanding parents and other social pressures. Life isn't easy as a teen, and author Peter Johnson uses that to create a "reality show" of his own as he brings his characters alive. LOSERVILLE is a fast read with appeal for older teens interested in taking a look inside the lives of other typical teenagers.