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Lexapros and Cons Hardcover – April 10, 2012
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“A madcap coming-of-age first novel . . . Chuck's agreeably foul-mouthed narrative voice rings totally true: Everything from his laugh-out-loud repartee with Steve to his inner longing and lusting for Amy feels fully fleshed and real. Short chapters and clever pacing help Karo's plot move quickly. Karo is definitely an author to watch.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Adult author Karo's background as a comedian is evident in his bawdy yet affecting YA debut, about a 17-year-old boy with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Karo offers a solid primer to OCD, including its treatments . . . Chuck is a funny, honest narrator. Readers will be impressed with Chuck's bravery in working to solve his problems.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The way Chuck describes the people he meets, situations he finds himself in, and strange thoughts he has will leave you in stitches! You'll love it if you're looking for a book that will make you laugh out loud. Chuck's one-liners and odd behaviors will make you completely appreciate Aaron Karo's ability to shed a humorous light on a serious issue.” ―Seventeen
“Aaron Karo, who is best known for his stand-up comedy and for his "Ruminations" series of humorous columns, takes a light-hearted approach to his debut YA novel. Chuck's first-person narration, not to mention his banter with best friend Steve, is hilariously raunchy, and the situations in which he finds himself are sometimes outright absurd. But as funny as Karo's writing is, his approach to dealing with an anxiety disorder like OCD is actually pretty serious. Karo talks about OCD candidly and accurately, and Chuck's psychiatrist leads him through the various options for dealing with his disorder. Even if kids reading Lexapros and Cons don't suffer from Chuck's condition, they're likely to relate to his feelings of frustration about not being able to engage with the world in the way he'd like to. Chuck's story can illustrate how to cope with these disorders with hope, heart, and hilarity.” ―TeenReads.com
“Karo's . . . novel has some interesting high notes: Chuck's changing relationship with his psychiatrist and the prescription drug she suggests, his romantic dreams sparked--and befuddled--by the beautiful new girl at school, and the well-rendered emotional lives of his friends and enemies. Karo's use of "real guy" motifs is noteworthy; one of Chuck's obsessions is making a pencil tally on paper every time he masturbates, and he invents a shoe color code to reflect his moods (the shoes, of course, being Converse Chuck Taylors) . . . Offers a humorous hook for guys who would normally shy away from the romance angle.” ―Booklist
“The strength here is the easygoing relationship between Chuck and his nerdy best friends, portrayed in honest, credible dialogue that effectively conveys their affectionate closeness. Readers with OCD may find inspiration here to get help . . . and readers without the disorder will develop a greater level of understanding.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“High school senior Chuck Taylor becomes likable early on. With its satisfying conclusion, the book is suitable for secondary school and public libraries; its absurdities and age-appropriate expletives may appeal to reluctant male readers.” ―Voice of Youth Advocates
“Karo captures the frustration of someone with OCD and its impact on friends and family . . . Characters such as the bumbling psychiatrist and obnoxious bully provide some targets for humor. The author's success in making Chuck's character ‘bizarre and profane,' plus his celebrity status and previous books for adults, will generate interest in the title.” ―School Library Journal
About the Author
In 1997 Aaron Karo wrote a funny email from his freshman dorm room that eventually spawned his celebrated column Ruminations, the humor website Ruminations.com, and three books: Ruminations on College Life, Ruminations on Twentysomething Life, and I'm Having More Fun Than You. Also a nationally headlining comedian, Karo has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and his one-hour special Aaron Karo: The Rest Is History premiered on Comedy Central in 2010. Lexapros and Cons is his first novel.
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The book is fun to read, divided in very short chapters that go fast. I can't say much about this book without giving it away. But reading about OCD always cracks me up (as "The Pleasure of my company" did).
I looked for other bloggers who might not have liked this book to share a link to a different opinion but couldn't find any. So, there, you have to read it!
Chuck Taylor is a senior with no girlfriend, no life and only 1 friend. What Chuck does have is a running tally of masturbating and Cons in every color to match his mood-both are his little secret! Sure he washes his hands after touching everything, turns his locker lock 14 times, checks the stove before bed and goes to the bathroom a million times before bed-and now thanks to Flickapedia he has OCD.
Karo does a great job of taking the reader through the trials and tribulations of a senior in high school with OCD. He takes us through the lowest points that Chuck deals with and the triumph he experiences.
I read the whole book in a few hours and wanted more. Karo has delivered yet again and left me wanting more!!! Now I think I will go buy some plaid Cons!!
The characters in the book were great the main character was very likeable and so were his friends. This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time and I reccomend it to people of a mature age. Or atleast people that aren't easily offended by reading inappropriate things.
Karo possesses a gift, and I want to thank him for sharing it with the world. This novel is incredible; it is an inspirational and uniquely clever social commentary that was born during an era in which most novels, especially YA ones, feature the same pathetically bland cliches without anything new to add to the conversation.
Bullies and their awful ways seem to be on the rise, teenage suicide rates are climbing, more and more humans are turning to medication instead of working on their problems; everyone seems to be getting more and more self-obsessed and terribly lonely; the American culture is becoming devastatingly lower in its low-context ways, but "Lexipros and Cons" is a comedic-dramatic-Y.A. novel that drives a knife through it all--it puts the focus on the problems, but also offers hope and a solution!
I can LITERALLY say that I laughed a lot, and I even cried; it was an incredible ride. I also read it in about two hours and had a really hard time putting it down.
This novel is absolutely worth your time and interest.
1. His mom sends him to a shrink. The shrink prescribes Lexapro and CBT. At first Chuck is hesitant, but the new girl in school provides some motivation.
2. The new girl in school, Amy, is amazing! She's hot, smart, and so cool. She also asks Chuck to tutor her in Calculus so that she can pass the AP exam. A friendship ensues, but he can't possibly let her know how crazy he is.
Chuck, who obsessively wears Cons in colors that match his mood, travels through the last part of his senior year with the ups and downs in having a crush on a girl and trying to make her his girlfriend, trying to get over his compulsions, fights with a best friend, and generally dealing with teenage issues and life, in this hilariously written novel by Karo.
My thoughts: This was one of my favorite books of the year. I'm not sure why, but lately I have enjoyed male protagonists much better than females. This may just be a stage I'm going through. Chuck literally made me laugh out loud, usually while in a quiet high school classroom. The very second I closed the book when I was done; it was immediately snatched up by one of my high school students because I was laughing so hard reading it. There were so many times where Chuck is trying to be so cool and something happens that just overwhelms him. He's stubborn and tries so hard to control himself that the tension in the story builds usually resulting in an absurd expulsion that Chuck has to work himself out of. I can't recommend this book enough. I definitely want more! Could there possibly be a Chuck goes to college version? Pretty, pretty please!