Wise Young Fool
Summary From Goodreads:
Teen rocker Ritchie Sudden is pretty sure his life has just jumped the shark. Except he hates being called a teen, his band doesn’t play rock, and “jumping the shark” is yet another dumb cliché. Part of Ritchie wants to drop everything and walk away. Especially the part that’s serving ninety days in a juvenile detention center.
Telling the story of the year leading up to his arrest, Ritchie grabs readers by the throat before (politely) inviting them along for the (max-speed) ride. A battle of the bands looms. Dad split about five minutes before Mom’s girlfriend moved in. There’s the matter of trying to score with the dangerously hot Ravenna Woods while avoiding the dangerously huge Spence Proffer–not to mention just trying to forget what his sister, Beth, said the week before she died.
Wise Young Fool, Sean Beaudoin’s latest release, is hilarious, mind blowing and is every great aspect of Beaudoin’s past work rolled into one crazy tale. The buildup is a bit slow but once you reach the meaty middle and the epic ending (apparently I’m in a wordplay mood) it’s all worth it. While the book is filled with humor there are plenty of serious issues discussed and that gives some weight to an otherwise light piece.
Wise Young Fool bounces back and forth between the main character, Ritchie Sudden’s, past and present. In the present he is in juvie and is being forced to write in a journal every day. In his journal entries, or past (depending on which makes more sense to you as the reader), Ritchie is working on starting a band and spends much of his time either playing his guitar or chasing Ravenna Woods, his crush, in the hopes that she will notice him.
Ritchie’s character is a mixture of very heavy sarcasm and not-so-deeply buried pain over the loss of his sister. He’s witty and clever but often uses those traits to his detriment rather than to benefit him in some way. Ritchie isn’t a lovable character, but he is certainly an identifiable one. He’s that guy who is cool without being part of the “in” crowd. He’s the one you know is destined for something awesome if he can just get out of his own way, but you don’t want him to lose that edge because you’d be losing a piece of Ritchie at the same time. I enjoyed learning about Ritchie and why he acts the way he does. He’s a deeper character than you could ever imagine, I’m a fan just like everyone else (in the book).
The romance in this book, to me at least, is the embodiment of all that teenage romance is and can be. There is the guy chasing after the gorgeous girl while making an ass of himself more often than not, the girl who really likes him that he ignores until it suits his purposes, and steamy goodness (don’t worry, Beaudoin doesn’t go into detail, this is YA) despite it all. Hormones rage, tempers flare, communication fails are abundant and the hot girl always gets what she wants, or at least thinks she wants. It may sound like a bunch of cliches but in Wise Young Fool it just feels honest. This is what teenagers, myself included, often experience in high school and the way Beaudoin displays the awkwardness that is teenage romance is perfect.
The references to different (and awesome) bands are abundant and the journey Ritchie takes as both a musician and a person can be linked to the songs mentioned each step of the way. The depth Beaudoin goes into to describe the process of becoming and being in a band is fantastic. The struggles are intense from infighting to romance conflicts and even into stylistic differences, Wise Young Fool has it all covered.
The parts of the book where Ritchie is in juvie provides extra depth for his character, shows where he ends up as a person and even touches on what life might be like for troubled teenagers in a detention center. As with most things it is a place that both helps and hinders progress for the inhabitants and that’s made clear in the piece. The time spent in Ritchie’s present aren’t as fast paced or filled with quite the hilarity as in his journal entries/past, but there are necessary elements and cool stuff that I did enjoy. It was a nice way to break up the insanity of the rest of the book.
Overall Wise Young Fool is another really strong and well written piece that I am thrilled to add to my collection o’ Beaudoin. While his other work certainly covers a wide array of topics and issues, Wise Young Fool, to me, is the best and most pure representation of any group of humanity, in this case teenagers/young adults. The book is hilarious as are all of Beaudoin’s works, and I couldn’t get enough. The messages that are covered are deep and will definitely make you think which is pretty impressive considering this is mostly a humor piece. Ritchie is a great MC, the supporting cast is really well done and the references to bands and music culture are spot on. I highly recommend it. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #128/200
15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 7
The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!
Today’s Challenge is: Talk about your blogging quirks.
This challenge is likely to be the most difficult for me simply because I don’t really have blogging quirks, at least not many I can think of at present. Well, here goes nothing!
- Saving and Previewing – I know many bloggers that obsessively click the “Save Draft” and “Preview” buttons every couple minutes (or more) to make sure every minute change is absolutely perfect. If they don’t it is utter chaos. I won’t say that I don’t do some saving or previews, but for the most part each post has but a handful of previews and maybe a save or two and it’s good to go. I have photos, for the most part, sized the exact same for my posts such as the one above. 400 x 300 in case you are curious. This allows for a very streamlined process and not too much fuss about if it is lined up just right. The major thing I adjust is the spacing and alignment of my “Smiling Frodos” because each one is slightly different, but even that is only a couple previews and I’m good with it. I know what I like and my posts reflect it, but admittedly this does lower the originality a bit.
- Review, Review, Review – This blog is known (by the few people that read it regularly) as a book review blog. While I do readathons regularly, do the occasional giveaway and dabble with other posts such as these challenge ones, the bulk of my posts has been and likely will continue to be book reviews. Why? Don’t get me wrong, I think incorporating memes (to a degree) is fine, but I have a limited amount of time to blog as well as read and in order to get posts up regularly I can’t be participating in a thousand things at once. While memes are easy to post and take less effort they feel a bit empty to me. The reader might get a feel for what books I like in a Waiting on Wednesday or look at my new pretties in Stacking the Shelves or Sunday Post, but it isn’t doing anything for the bookish community and that’s a big reason why I do this. I want to support authors and so my posts are reviews because that’s what helps them the most. It also is intended to shed some light on some pieces that either you are on the fence about, or even better, that you would never hear about otherwise. (Wow that got ranty o_o)
- Don’t Like It, Don’t Care – Quite a few bloggers shy away from negative reviews for a variety of reasons but that’s just not me. If I didn’t like a book the review is going up anyway, partially because I spent the time reading the piece so if I didn’t like it at least I’m getting a post out. I’m shedding some light on it so that maybe you will think harder about purchasing/reading it and I feel that’s worthwhile. Also, while I know a TON of effort goes into writing a book that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be critiqued any less than a movie or dish at a restaurant. If it’s bad you should know just as much as if it is 5/5 worthy. There are more books out there than we have time to read, decisions have to be made and maybe I can help a bit. However, when I’m tweeting out my latest review and it is a negative one I don’t link up the author’s handle. I don’t want to upset people by what I write, and this way the people who enjoy my posts will read it without the author having to feel crappy.
- Scheduling Posts? Bahaha – Plenty of bloggers I know are waaay ahead and have scheduled posts through most of the year and if I could I would be all over that kind of preparation. Alas, I can’t get ahead of the game and almost never have posts ready in advance. Heck, I’m posting this one right after I finish writing it. I have a limited time to read and as I mentioned most of my posts are reviews so I can’t exactly have those in place prior to finishing the book. If your blog has a lot of memes, giveaways and cover reveals then sure it would be possible to get ahead of the game rather easily. Those posts are formatted and require mostly a change of title, a few pictures and maybe a brief bit about how excited you are for whatever piece you are talking about. This isn’t a slam on those posts, I just don’t do them. So there is no order to the time stamps on my posts and usually even the days are random because my schedule is too. Oh well.
- Let There Be Music! – I don’t do silence. Reading a book? There’s almost always music or something going on in the background. Blogging? Definitely, its the best time to listen to some music while I’m not being distracted by Twitter, YouTube or who knows what else. Sometimes I even match the type of music I listen to (I listen to all sorts so variety isn’t a problem) based on what kind of post I’m doing, if I’m enjoying a book or not and even the genre of the book. I feel it enhances the experience. ^.^
- Must Review IMMEDIATELY – If I finish reading a book I immediately dive into writing the review. I want my thoughts as fresh as possible and since I don’t take notes of any kind this is the best time for me to talk about the book as I can keep all of the details straight. I also feel I’m more passionate about how I feel about a book when I review it right after I’ve read it.
- Rambling – A quirk I kinda was aware of but that this post made me realize was a reality is that I ramble a lot in posts. If I LOVED something I can’t stop gushing about it. If I hated something my feelings are just as strong and are hard to reign in. So yes, I ramble, and the best I can hope for is that after you read a post you gain something out of it and the main sentiment isn’t lost.
So those are a few of my “quirks” when it comes to blogging. What quirks do you have? Are there any that you could never give up? Let me know! Come back tomorrow to see 15 things I find appealing in blogs and see if you love (or hate) them! Thanks as always for reading. ^.^