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King of the Screwups by K.L. Going

King of the ScrewupsLiam Geller is and has always been Mr. Popularity. But knowing how to navigate the social scene has only been good for his public image, and unfortunately, this image is what gets him into the most trouble at home. His extremely successful businessman of a father can’t understand why someone who shares half his DNA could seem like such a screwup. When Liam’s father finally has enough, Liam is kicked out and only reluctantly taken in by his “Aunt” Pete, a gay glam-rocker deejay. A complete and utter change of scenery may be exactly what Liam wants—in order to mold his image into that of a studious and well mannered man his father can be proud of. He figures that as soon as his father catches on, he’ll be home in no time. But is that what Liam really needs, to please his father at the expense of his true identity?

From the first chapter until the very end, King of the Screwups is a rocky, heart wrenching, and very personal journey. This novel opens with and continues to be interspaced with Liam’s flashbacks to hwen he was younger to show the depth of dysfunction in the Geller family, and how that created the person Liam is. It’s disturbing how poorly Mr. Geller treats his son Liam and his wife, and even sadder how those two accept Mr. Geller’s mean word as truth. This makes Liam such an easy character to care for even though some of his actions are not well thought out or are pathetically defeatist. Going skillfully portrays this difficult environment in which a child cannot earn a parent’s approval no matter how hard he tries, and this kept tears rolling down my face. King of the Screwups is the kind of book I’d love to hate but simply cannot; for example, I hate Mr. Geller’s selfishness and Mrs. Geller’s lack of a backbone, but I love Aunt Pete’s well defined attitude and contentedness with life. Liam’s story of being able to finally be himself is such a great one in that he has to overcome such mental and emotional challenges. Beautifully and provocatively written and completely realistic, King of the Screwups is a hopeful story that will seize one’s heart and never let go.

This emotional story will be enjoyed by readers who also liked Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee, Love, Meg by C. Leigh Purtill, and Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers.

Rating: 5.0

Review copy from Amazon Vine

3 munch(es) :

Summer said...

Great review. This book sounds right up my alley.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thanks for this review. I'm adding the book to my TBR list.



JobSearchNinja said...

"Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning."

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