Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reality Boy by A.S. King

A.S. King once again gives us a teen with a troubled life who finds a way to escape even if only momentarily. When things get tough for Gerald, he zones out and goes to Gersday, an extra day just for him. All Gersdays are good days. He envisions eating ice cream and spending time with his sister, Lisi (who in reality has moved to Scotland just to escape the family). Why Gersday...

Gerald was only five when his family agreed to be on a reality show. It was one of those where they bring in a nanny (in this case an actress) to help the family deal with the children's behavior. For reasons I will not discuss, Gerald becomes known as the Crapper - not just in school, but nationwide. It is a name he is still called as a teenager. He was the focus of the show because he was the troubled one (or was he?).

The family already had serious issues (like Gerald's oldest sister Tasha being able to do no wrong in their mother's eyes). She would do something, blame Gerald and he would be punished. The reality show made it all worse. It manipulated the reality seen by the public, placed blame on the wrong people and didn't really solve anything.

Gerald cannot wait to escape - really escape like his sister Lisi.  For now, he works at a concession stand at the local arena. He works register #7 and often finds himself looking at the girl on register #1, but his anger management counselor tells him to stay away from girls because they will just cause him to get angry.

A.S. King creates such incredible characters and complex lives for them. You want so much for them to sort out their issues and find contentment. They are often trapped by their age with parents who are making their lives hell.  This author keeps getting better and better.

For more info, check out Evergreen library catalog and the author's site.

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