Narrative Loserdom (Journal #1) by Ryan Collins Released Date: December 1, 2011
Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out.
As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.
Narrative Loserdom is a fun and relaxed tale of two teenage boys who stand at the side lines watching life past them by. Their story is told through diary entries, which are written from Justin Taggart's perspective. Yes, yes, I know. A diary? A boy? A boy and a diary? A boy WRITING a diary? I thought it would be full of fighting and lots of partying, I also thought that the idea of a boy having a diary would never work. But, it did! Justin actually has a surprisingly exciting life! A life that you actually want to read about! Justin and his best friend, Adam, seem to get into quite a lot of messed up situations. Girls, friends, family, working, studying, you know all the things that teenage boys have to deal with. Ryan Collins does a great job at making those situations as funny and amusing as possible!
I do think that the book could have been a bit more detailed. I would have liked to know more about what happens during his life. Justin started writing his diary every few days but as the book went on he wrote in his diary less and less, and when I say 'less and less' I mean every few weeks. As the book went on, I also felt became less interested in the main character's life and problems. I would have also like the character's relationships to be explained more. This is how it felt to me:
I like Sterling. She's pretty. We talked. I'm in love.
So, a bit more detail would have been great. However, I did love the humour that this book had. I was probably laughing out loud for half of it!
Overall, Narrative Loserdom is a great book for people who love a good laugh and don't mind the word 'man' being used every few lines. Try it and see how it goes!
- Special thanks to Ryan Collins for sending me a review copy!