young adult book reviews & more

Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner

Castration CelebrationOlivia is seriously pissed at guys, and with good reason. She recently walked in on her dad fooling around with one of his grad students, but at least now she has a great topic for the musical she’s writing at summer arts camp at Yale, a musical she’s titled Castration Celebration. But Olivia’s not prepared for when scenes from her play start to star her and a certain cute but cocky actor Max in real life. Even if Olivia is the least bit interested, she’s not willing to trust Max since the only thing you can trust about a guy is that he’ll be a guy—always looking for sex. While Olivia’s not too sure of her feelings for Max, she does know she has to hang out with him once in a while for the raw material he provides for her musical; besides, he’s just interesting. As the days heat up, so does this battle of the sexes. It’s going to be one unforgettable summer for these teens.

Castration Celebration is a laugh-out-loud hilarious story somewhat reminiscent of Disney’s High School Musical. The major difference between the two is that Castration Celebration is aimed at an older, more mature audience. The best thing about this novel is its somewhat raunchy and dirty humor; it’s almost scary how the characters can find a sexual connotation in nearly everything. The plot of the novel is a seriously twisted romance made more interesting by being interspaced with scenes from Olivia’s comedy and her original and very funny songs. The characters, I felt, could definitely have been worked on. This novel is told from the third person perspective and offers insufficient insight into each character’s mind. This made even the main characters less believable at times. I know Castration Celebration is mostly Olivia and Max’s take, but I would’ve appreciated more from minor characters Zeke, Trish, Callie, and Mimi. Despite that, Castration Celebration is a sweet and seriously humorous tale that covers nearly everything in guy-girl interaction from the mysteries of the opposite gender’s mind to good old-fashioned guy-gets-girl (or girl-gets-guy) romance.

Castration Celebration will be enjoyed not only by the drama crows but by anyone who’s experienced confusion and/or frustration over the opposite sex. This novel will also be liked by fans of Love on Cue by Catherine Hapka.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from publisher Random House

16 munch(es) :

Briana said...

I'm going to have to buy this book. It sounds so hilarious.


GirlwiththeBraids said...

How is 'raunchy and dirty humor' for a 'mature audience'? This book is exactly opposite of mature: immature. For older people, yes, but not 'mature'. This book is completely disgusting and I can't believe how many good reviews it's getting! I wouldn't recommend buying it, Briana.

I haven't been paying enough attention to the reviews you were posting, The Book Muncher, and I'm sorry for that. But you just lost a reader.

Rachael Stein said...

GirlwiththeBraids -

"Mature audience" means not for younger readers. I'm sorry if you don't understand the wording I use. The immaturity of the story is what makes it funny. It might not be your type of humor, but other readers may enjoy it.

GirlwiththeBraids said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GirlwiththeBraids said...

There are plenty of mature young readers out there. Definition of mature from the dictionary: fully developed in body or mind, as a person. I think that a mature 13-year-old in mind should get more respect than a mature 20-year-old in body and immature in mind. I may be rambling but this book offends me so much I can barely think of how to write this comment. As you can see, I'm having some trouble. ^

And I understood your wording, I just don't agree with it.

Rachael Stein said...

Offensive how? I know a lot of people around my age who think much in the same way as this book's characters.

GirlwiththeBraids said...

That's what scares me, The Book Muncher. I don't want to get into an argument (though it's pretty obvious we aren't on the same side of this topic) because I've seen the way other bloggers have been attacked who share my same opinion. But I want other people like me not to be afraid to share what they think.

It's offensive because I don't want the whole country thinking that all teenagers and young adults are like this, narcissistic, only thinks about sex ...

Because we aren't all like that.

Rachael Stein said...

I completely understand where you're coming from, and I agree in the sense that not all teens are like Olivia and Max. But since there are some, it's to be expected that there will be a sampling of books with characters with that mindset, just like there are books whose characters are considerate and pretty wholesome (the "good" stereotype).

I'm not trying to attack you or reviewers with your same opinion. Frankly, I'm not too worried that the country will think every teen is sex-crazed and shallow. If they do based on one book, then they are severly out of touch with reality and there's nothing you or I can do about that.

GirlwiththeBraids said...

You're wrong, there is. We are the ones making these kind of books bestsellers or popular by buying them and that's what they are going to judge us on. Yes, there are some adults who buy these books too but we are the ones bringing in the big money.

I suggest reading the New York Post's review of Castration Celebration here:


Rachael Stein said...

First of all, I didn't buy either of my copies of this book. It was sent to me for review.

Secondly, how am I wrong? It is mostly my opinion after all.

Thirdly, as we live in a capitalistic society, if there's a market for a certain type of book, someone will produce the product.

Fourth, if the book is a bestseller, it must have some merit. After all, people had to buy it for the book to get there.

Lastly, the New York Post's article sounds like it was written by an overconcerned parent. Castration Celebration does not "promote" teen sex and substance use because it mentions it. It's foolish to think that thirteen year olds will want to become druggies and sex addicts just from reading this book. Really, it sounds like the writer of the review would like to see CC banned, but I'm not going to get into that now.

Anonymous said...

So anyways, half of the reviews I've read said this book is hilarious, while the other half said it's too raunchy. Personally though, I think I'd enjoy this book.

GirlwiththeBraids said...

I meant that you're wrong, there is something we can do about it. By posting this good review of the book, a lot of other people are going to go out and buy it.

I'm sorry that it seems I was attacking you and we said we wouldn't get into an argument. You write your reviews great and it seems a lot of other people think so too. I was just expecting your review of this book to be different than others. But it all comes down to: I hate this book. And that's my whole reason for my comments.

Rachael Stein said...

Got it now :D And no worries, I didn't think you were attacking me, just expressing your own opinion.

Misty said...

Not to jump in here where I'm sure I'm not wanted, and I don't want to start it up again when its been over since July, but I just have to say two things:
1) You can try to twist it however you want, GWB, and I get why you took "mature" the way you did, but let's be honest: when people say mature audience, they're not just talking about brain or body, they're talking about a combination of the two, with the addition of experience. A 7 yr old could be a genius and understand everything you tell them, but that doesn't mean they're ready to do the things adults do or understand context from experiences when they haven't had them. So mature audience = all of the above, not just smart. I think that's generally accepted. It means that yes, younger but more apt readers do have to be careful that they don't go beyond their depth just because they can...
2) Everyone has different tastes, likes and dislikes, etc, and that's exactly the way it should be. If someone likes something enough to review it positively, then they should. Same for negative. Yes, that may mean more people buy it, and some may not like it; they in turn can post their own reviews or spread the word. But just because it's not suitable for everyone doesn't mean that the positives should be censored or keep their mouths shut.

There. Now that that's out of my system, this sounds hilarious, I will definitely be reading it!

Rebecca Orr said...

Well...I just came here to make a comment after reading the review of the book for the giveaway. And well...I am not even going to start in on what I think. But obviously because I am here and entering the giveaway I want to read it. If you hate me because I want to read...hate me. If you love me because I want to read...love me. Thanks.

ps: as for my comment: sounds like a good one!

Zubinina said...

Sound's hilarious! I'm going to go out and get this book!

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