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Freak Magnet by [Auseon, Andrew]
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Freak Magnet Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 308 pages

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–When not stargazing, Charlie fills his time by working at a drugstore and running around town with a Superman costume under his clothes. One day, he runs after the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. Gloria is used to attracting people who are a little different, but Charlie is on the fringe, even for her. While Gloria is mourning her brother's recent death in Afghanistan, Charlie is dealing with his mother's progressively debilitating sickness. He finally has the opportunity to break free of his reactive cycle, but the consequences could be more severe than he imagined. Auseon's attempt to develop Charlie through the arc of mania is half successful: the teen's behaviors at the beginning of the tale appear to be an affectation, which causes the gradual developing of self-awareness to seem faked. The social awkwardness that Auseon writes about will remind readers of the work of Mark Haddon and Francisco X. Stork, but there is a hollowness to it. However, Charlie's belief in the powers of the Superman costume is touching in his naïveté. Gloria's confrontation with her mother over the appropriate displays of grief is powerful and moving, and could be used for classroom discussions. The pacing is slow and the dual voices in the narrative fracture the story further. Not as outright bizarre as the author's Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot (HarperTeen, 2009), this book will appeal to more sophisticated readers, but only those with long attention spans and patience for quirks.Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

It only takes five words—This place smells like pee—for recent high-school grad Charlie to be fully smitten by the girl who just wandered into his café. The relationship comedy-drama that unfolds over the subsequent two months is told from both points of view: the freak (Charlie) and the magnet (Gloria). At first, Gloria has no reason to consider Charlie anything other than Freak: he says what's on his mind—to a fault—and is excruciatingly unafraid of making a scene. She, meanwhile, has been guarded ever since the death of her brother and prefers the solitude conducive to writing her free-form poetry. After fate tosses them together, the plot employs the expected tactics of tearing our would-be lovers apart via pressures and misunderstandings before each of them reaches the required epiphany. But Auseon's details—even when they become rather precious, as with Charlie's covert wearing of a Superman cape—are just original enough to amuse and move readers. (His handling of the parents, including a Huntington's-ravaged mom, is even better.) Predictable but undeniably pleasurable. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

Product Details

  • File Size: 323 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061139262
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (June 3, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2010
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JBI3DS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,073,666 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ann on April 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charlie is the Freak and Gloria is the Magnet. Charlie is refreshing and a delight; he captured my heart almost immediately. Gloria was a bit harder to love, but I did care for her by the end of the book. I'd say this story centers people's responses to life's difficulties - especially as they relate to loved ones. Charlie and Gloria are believable characters that I enjoyed reading about. My one complaint - and the reason I rate this 3 rather than 4 stars - is the abruptness of the ending. I felt like it needed a bit more.
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Format: Hardcover
Gloria is the Magnet, a tough, quirky, guarded girl with a chip n her shoulder the size of a barn door. Charlie is the freak, a self contained genius with near zero social skills and absolutely no problem being himself. Both characters face personal problems and past tragedy with varying degrees of success, and both have problems with personal limits: Gloria is all limit and Charlie has none at all. The challenge the face is whether Charlie can break down Gloria's walls before sorrow drowns them both.

FREAK MAGNET was an interesting read especially as I have a tendency toward freak magnetism myself. If there's someone 'quirky' in any situation, it's a given that they will pick me out to shadow. Naturally, my first sympathies lay with Gloria; that didn't last, though. She is beyond rude to Charlie at the start, crabby and snippy.

Charlie, on the other hand, is 'so adorably clueless' (to quote the movie). He is fascinated by Gloria from the first moment he sees her, and has no problem letting her know that, even in the face of warnings from his friend and ridicule from the object of his affection. Gloria eventually caves, of course, as we know she must, only to face her own rejection by Charlie.

This book was funny...until it breaks your heart. That type of writing, as long as the situations don't feel 'staged' to manipulate the reader's emotions (which this does not), isn't easy to do, but Auseon carries it off well. Their coming together, falling apart, and possible reconciliation feel entirely possible and natural. It meant a great deal to me that the end was ambiguously hopeful. Happily Ever After is probably not in the cards (at least not at the point the story ends) for these characters, and the acknowledgement of that felt fresh.
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Format: Hardcover
It's as simple as this: I ADORED Freak Magnet to the max. It was fun, witty, and real- three characteristics that when mixed together make for pure awesomeness.

Both of the characters in Freak Magnet were ones I loved. No lie about it. Charlie was extremely sweet and chivalrous; a character who always had me laughing at his way of telling it like it is no matter how bad the consequences would be. And Gloria, while distant and moody at times, was always witty and intelligent; someone I would hug and tell everything be all right to if I could. Together they made for an awesome match- one that always lead to not only more funny moments but tender ones as well as they dealt with life, death, and love all in one. I also loved the secondary characters. Some of my favorites would be Maggie, Gloria's sister whose sense of style was bizarre yet wickedly awesome, and Edison, a guy I admired for his brave actions given his condition.

Told in a he-said/she-said type of way, Freak Magnet allowed for the Magnet and the Freak to tell their tale of things, making this be one trait of the novel I absolutely loved, because it always allowed for different questions to be swirling around in my head, such as: Would Gloria and Charlie ever get a chance at romance? Would Gloria ever get over her personal issues and realize that there still are reasons to live in the world? And plenty more, which left for this plot to one that always had me on my toes.

In all, Andrew Auseon not only makes Freak Magnet look like a start in my eyes but him as well because he's one fantastic author. I can't wait to read more by him.

My final advice? I know I say this a lot, but read this book, especially if you love he-said/she-said type of stories.

Grade: A-
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Format: Hardcover
This novel is about a "freak" named Charlie and a "magnet" named Gloria. Charlie is a very interesting character. He has Asperger-type behaviors and totally sees the world in his own way and he embraces that.

When we first hear about Gloria, the reader makes the assumption that she is one of the beautiful girls who has no problems.

Then Charlie sees Gloria and their story begins.

The chapters alternate in this book between Charlie and Gloria. Charlie first sees Gloria when she enters a coffee shop to get coffee. To him, she is the most beautiful person he has ever seen and he feels the need to tell her.

We learn that Gloria definitely attracts freaks though she tries not to and when she meets Charlie it reinforces her view that she is a freak magnet.

Charlie is one of the sweetest characters I have read. He has such a good heart and he totally wears it on his sleeve. Gloria could have been a typical snobby girl, but the author gives her a vulnerability that makes her likable.

Although the characters meet through many chance encounters, the author makes us believe that it is totally normal and that perhaps fate does take an active role in some lives.

This was a fun read and I am glad that I had the opportunity to go into Charlie's and Gloria's world, even if just for a little while.
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