Monday, April 19, 2010

The Loser's Guide to Life and Love: A Novel

by A.E. Cannon

Dedication: "For Betsy Burton, with affection and respect"

First paragraph: "You look like a total dork, Ed," says my eight-year-old sister, the Lovely and Talented Maggie McIff, as I prepare to go to work at Reel Life Movies."

Review: Ed McIff has stumbled into the middle of a major identity crisis. He's been forced to wear the name tag of Sergio, an old employee at his part-time job. One day a beautiful girl walks into the store and the lies fly forth from his mouth about his birth in Brazil and his explorations of the world. All the while his best guy friend is crushing on his best girl friend and his best girl friend is crushing on him.

I picked up this book and finished it in one day. It is a very simple read but it has a an interesting story. It is a "re-imagining" of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It focuses on Ed and his best girl friend, Scout, but it also throws in some thoughts from both his best guy friend and the beautiful girl he met while pretending to be Sergio. While this writing style could potentially be quite confusing, I think Cannon handled it very well.

As for the characters themselves - because of the simplicity of the story you don't get too attached or connected to any one of them; however, that does not mean I didn't have opinions on them. I was annoyed with Ed for most the book. Yeah, he's a teenage boy and teenage boys are confusing and confused. As for Scout, I found myself relating with her on several different levels. I think if we'd gone to school together we'd have been friends, or at least we wouldn't have hated each other. We both have a lot in common - our taste in boys, not so much (which further makes me think we could have been good friends).

Anyway, I thought this book was an enjoyable read. It's job was to help me occupy some time and it fulfilled that duty ten-fold.

Click Here for Harper Collins Publisher's The Loser's Guide to Life and Love website.

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