Hope P. , 16
A Scary Scene In A Scary Movie
Farrar Straus Giroux 2011
Rene is an obsessive compulsive freshman who wants to be a superhero. He wants to fit in with his schoolmates, despite the fact he will not pick up a face down coin, doesn’t move a muscle if the clocks adds up to thirteen, and wears a Batman cape when he gets nervous. And he gets nervous a lot. He is convinced if he does anything in his life out of order, his beloved teacher will quit, his mother will get fired, his dream girl will move away, or he will cause a nuclear holocaust; whichever one comes first. He, naturally, is the target of bullying and school jokes, but he never stands up for himself. Then a new kid comes to school, a guy named Giovanni that everyone loves. He starts being a friend to Rene, the first friend he has ever had. Gio teaches him about life and being a normal teenager. Rene starts to learn to stand up for himself. He even speaks to the girl he has had a crush on forever. He stops wearing the cape…as much. Things are looking up. But when Rene’s runaway dad drops back into his life, Rene’s little world is shaken to its core. This OCD superzero, aided by his hero Gio, embarks on a journey to discover life, liberty, and the hero within himself….if only he could stop washing his hands long enough to do so. This novel had a refreshingly original writing style, and I was surprised to find this was a debut novel. While the story line itself was a little shaky in places; the main character was so engaging and lovable it more than made up for it. Rene tells his story in his own way, and through it we see many aspects of a teen’s life, from abandonment of a parent, to school pressure, to the reappearance of that runaway parent. Emotions, whether good or bad, run high throughout the novel, keeping the reader engaged in the story. Peppering this novel are observations of everyday life, told through the eyes of this quirky, endearing character. 9.5/10 rating.
Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book