Synopsis from Goodreads: School is just like a film set: there’s The Crew, who make things happen, The Extras who fill the empty desks, and The Movie Stars, whom everyone wants tagged in their Facebook photos. But Jude doesn’t fit in. He’s not part of The Crew because he isn’t about to do anything unless it’s court-appointed; he’s not an Extra because nothing about him is anonymous; and he’s not a Movie Star because even though everyone know his name like an A-lister, he isn’t invited to the cool parties. As the director calls action, Jude is the flamer that lights the set on fire.
“Go get date raped, bitch,” Angela yelled.
So the main character, Jude, and his best friend, Angela, have pretty horrible personalities. It’s hard to say this for a few reasons, but I want this to be an honest review. The first reason this is hard to say is that the main character is gay. I want it to be understood that this is not a contributing factor to my dislike for him. The other thing is that he is only in grade 8. He was also extremely abused, emotionally and physically, and had a pretty awful childhood, which he did not deserve by any means. However, he is still extremely judgmental, creepy, and a legitimate stalker.
“Who do you think is bigger,” she asked, “Chris or Liam? [Hemsworth]”
“Liam. He’d have to be to fill Miley.”
I felt sorry for them. They needed so much plastic surgery.
Since I was born by caesarean, I wasn’t deformed from childbirth.
“I wouldn’t smoke that,” Colin told him. “You might get the hiv.”
“Ew, like that doesn’t even exist anymore,” I said, rolling my eyes.
Jude also thinks Angela is cool for having unprotected sex because it makes her feel Bohemian or something.
What bothers me about this is that the main characters are in grade 8. They’re 12 or 13. This book also won a children’s (young adult) literary award and is plastered all over the shelves in every Canadian bookstore I’ve seen lately. If the characters are in grade 8, how many kids that age are going to read this? I’m normally the first one to say that a 12-year-old should be able to watch an 18A or R rated movie if they think they’re ready for it, but it just blows my mind that this is marketed as something for 12-year-olds to read, and awarded. I think anyone maybe in their late teens would at least be able to distance themselves from the situation a little. The shock value is still there though.
(Please note also that I’m not saying this doesn’t deserve to be awarded, I’m just saying it should be shoved down young teens’ throats the way it seems to be.)
I’ve heard this was a true story that happened back in 2008, so I hope Jude actually was this terrible of a person (not that he deserves anything that happens to him, to reiterate). Otherwise the author just made tons of readers hate this real guy for no reason.
ALL OF THAT SAID. I liked the structure. I wouldn’t say it feels like an entire movie, as each chapter (titled: sex scene, fight sequence, director’s cut) feels like a contribution to the first act of a film. The characters are all introduced but not developed. The main style is established. The conflict is set up and understood. Of course there is an ending (abrupt though it may be) but it seems like the author just skipped the middle of the story, which is fine by me because I normally get bored during that part anyway.
Besides the vulgarity, I enjoyed the writing style. It didn’t read as regular prose at all. You could almost add “and then” between each sentence, just to get an idea of what it’s like, but it wasn’t annoying because each scene moved on so fast. It was sort of cool. Sometimes the main character’s inner mind was even a bit poetic.