Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is still haunted by his rage-filled youth—, which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he has tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone is just waiting for him to snap…and he is starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.
In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.
Reality tv isn't something I think about much beyond the fact that I don't like 99% of it. When I was approached with the opportunity to read Reality Boy I was reluctant because of my distaste for all things "reality". I had the impression that the book was going to be like The Truman Show, but that was purely my fault for assuming[you know what they say happens when you assume]. I'm glad I didn't pass up on Reality Boy because I would have been missing out on a great story.
"They say angry people are hotheaded, but we're not. We're cold. All over."
Gerald is messed up. I came to this conclusion about ten percent into the book when he went into Gersday. Gersday is a place that Gerald visits a lot where he can eat ice cream and see his older sister and occasionally talk to Disney characters.
"I concentrate on how I'm supposed to love myself now. Only you can allow yourself to be angry."
Gerald isn't the only messed up person is his family. His sister Tasha is just flat out disturbing. She's been humping couches and pillows since childhood[this made me feel icky] and has moved on to humping her boyfriend as loudly as possible in the basement. Tasha is Gerald's ultimate trigger, and the close to the root of most of his issues. I couldn't help but to see Gerald's mother as a horrid woman. She's not abusive, verbally or physically, but she's extremely emotionally abusive. Gerald's father is mostly absent, and extremely passive when it comes to family issues.
"I want to talk about my plastic-wrapped heart and I how I think she's unwrapping it."
When Gerald met Hannah I was weary. I, much like Hannah, felt somewhat afraid of Gerald's anger. I did worry he might snap on her, and the thought did cross my mind more than once. I liked how Hannah refused to put up with any of Gerald's crap and stood up for herself.
The main issue I had with this book was the abrupt ending. It felt like one of those non-endings to me. I really don't like things being left unresolved and I didn't get the feelings of finality at the end.
I took Reality Boy as kind of a cautionary tale. We're obsessed with getting into other people's lives and we forget the lasting effects this can have on people. Gerald was forced to be on this show, and the things he did for the audience shaped him. Gerald was pretty much sold out for some new kitchen appliances and a new car. Even though I didn't like the ending I still really enjoyed this book, and would even love to see what happens to Gerald in the future.
Title: Reality Boy
Author: A.S. King
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Free Preview of the first 14 Chapters: Amazon
Genre: YA | Fiction | Contemporary
About A.S. King
A.S. King is the author of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz.
She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Dust of 100 Dogs, an adult short story collection, Monica Never Shuts Up, and the upcoming REALITY BOY (2013). After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children.
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