Most helpful critical review
A "different" sense of humor
on September 14, 2011
First Sentence: I wish I could say I was a victim but I willingly played into the devil's hands.
Gates is a self-described sexual deviant, 17 years old, working as a caddy at a country club. His mother had a nervous breakdown two years ago, and he was molested by his godmother Alicia, a child psychologist and his mom's best friend. Since they still live with Alicia, the molestation continues, and it's causing Gates problems with his girlfriend, who would like to sleep with him.
I know that many readers would find this book hilarious. I'm not one of them. Most of the adults here do nothing but take advantage of and/or ignore the teens, with the clubhouse owner using Gates to win illegal bets, a clubhouse patron who gives Gates the nickname of "Fun Buns" because he can't keep his hands off his bum, and more.
Gates is likeable (he even volunteers to read to seniors at the local retirement home); his bestie named Timmy is a model with OCD who repeats the final word of every sentence three times; and his girlfriend Melanie is a jock and his best friend. Unfortunately, almost every single adult in the novel is eminently unlikeable or at best, definitely not in the realm of "normal".
I've seen this one described as "irreverent", "provocative", and "bold", but for this reader, molestation is not a funny subject. Here is a teen whose life is in the crapper, and there is really no one there to help pull him out. There's a bit of a surprise at the end, but it wasn't enough to redeem the rest. If it were billed as an adult book, I might give some of it a pass, but it's billed as YA. In my opinion, this is an adult novel written about a teen, and is definitely not one I'd encourage for the younger YA set. Again, my disclaimer is that certain readers will LOVE this - it IS different. I never felt a connection to the characters, and much of what happens was not funny or even interesting to me.
QUOTES (from an eGalley; may be different in final copy):
Anyway, I was actually very attracted to Melanie but I couldn't sleep with her until she knew the real me but the only problem was as soon as she knew the real me she wouldn't want to sleep with me anymore.
Mom spoke the words in a way that suggested she knew but I convinced myself this wasn't possible because I didn't want to believe Mom would ignore her best friend molesting me.
Sensitive Reader: This one is not for you. Profanity and sexuality abound.
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Characters: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 2.5 out 5 stars
BOOK RATING: 3 out of 5 stars