Monday, March 29, 2010

King of the Screwups: by K.L. Going



Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But he's got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most.
When Liam finally kicked out of the house, his father's brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magnet possibly have in common with his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle who lives in a trailer in upstate New York? A lot more than you'd think. And when Liam attempts to make himself over as a nerd in a desperate attempt to impress his father, it's his "aunt" Pete and the guys in his band who convince Liam there's much more to him than his father will ever see.


What would you do if your father said you were a screwup?

What would you do if he said it everyday for as long as you could remember? After a while would you start to believe it? Would you strive for his acceptance and praise only to fall short, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of your screwups?

This is the life of Liam Geller. He is incredibly popular, has an amazing fashion sense, and is a king screwup. His father has beaten it into his skull that he will never be good enough and it is because of this that Liam screws up in life. On top of all of that Liam’s dad has kicked him out of the house. Liam now out of house and home is sent to live with his drag wearing black sheep of an uncle who lives in a trailer park.

I really enjoyed King of the Screwups. K.L. Going is an excellent writer who truly knows her way around a pen and paper, and it is through this sensational writing style that Going is able to create a multidimensional protagonist that truly make her story stand out.

Readers are able to get a 360 degree look at Liam through Going’s snapshots of the past revealing: why Liam’s loves fashion, his father’s unfairly attributed disappointment and verbal abuse of Liam, and the reason Liam’s mother sent him to his uncle Pete. But besides this, King of the Screwups also has an interesting story line that will captivate and entice readers of all ages.

One of only complaint I had for this book was the fact that it all seemed to end to fast. It felt like the reader spent a large amount of time building up to the point when Liam would rebel and get his life in order, but things kept spinning out of control until the very last second.

I also felt there were some secrets that were never answered or could have been left out. These secrets include, why Liam cherishes his surfboard and the reason everyone kept focusing on Liam being some other person’s child besides his fathers.

Yet while it has it’s flaws, King of the Screwups, is a sensational book. I really enjoyed it I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult literature. Finally I plan to put K.L. Going on my list of authors to watch in the future as she is positively sparking with talent.


8.5 out of 10


Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

Published: April 6, 2009

Price: $17.00

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