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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Reality Boy by A.S. King Review - Nemo

Title: Reality Boy
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 368
Pub Date: October 22, 2013
Rating: 5 Gersday Strawberry Stars
Link to Goodreads and The Book Depository

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

Word’s cannot describe how utterly original this book was. It was nothing like I expected, when I first read the plot I was like ehhh reality T.V and I wondered how there could be a whole book for it. But after reading it, I feel guilty for even watching (and believing) reality T.V!

The story follows Gerard, he was on a Nanny show when he was 6 and it haunted him forever.  The show only showed the bad parts of him, like how he crapped on everything, and completely ignored his psychotic sister and mother. After the show was done he lived in the same little town were everyone knew him as “The Crapper”.

“Can’t he see the permanent boom mike suspended in front of me? The reflectors? The spots? Can’t he see the cameramen following me around the hall? The behay-vah chart with all the black spots that I wear on my chest”

He grows up with anger issues and his mom constantly telling him that he’s retarded and not good enough. Gerard himself shows psychotic tendencies when he took a bite of a bully’s face. He basically lives in his own self-pity and injustice until he meets Heather, a cute co-worker that likes him. When she starts to get in his life he starts to rethink everything, how much he can achieve in life and that he can demand more out of life. The problem is that to escape his awful situation he would escape into “Gersday”, his own Disney fantasy, and even with Heather around he couldn’t get leave Gersday.

"I reach down and pinch my leg but no matter how hard I do it, I can't snap myself out of Gersday."

My favorite thing about this book was the flashbacks, every 2- 3 chapters we would have a flashback to when he was still in the show and they were filming it. This way we got to see the “Behind – The – Scenes” and his relationship with his Nanny. The supporting characters like Lisi and Circus boy Joe were fun and added to the seriousness but also let some had some comedic relief. Another interesting thing about this book was how Gerard saw himself, his entire life after the show he saw himself as learning disabled crapper boy who was so screwed up his mom couldn't love him. It was until the end that he finally realized it wasn't his fault and he could have so much more out of life.

"Did I get out? Yes and No. Get out of what? Do you really think I have a chance to get out of this crap?" 

This is the kind of book that you can't put down, and one you’ll never forget once it's over. 

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