Review: Screwed up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson

Cute, witty, and honest to a fault. Ferguson’s epistolary novel about the (rather graphic) goings-on of a seventeen-year-old gay boy is fun, fast-paced, entertaining, sad, and smart. I will agree with some other reviewers who mentioned that one of the novel’s downfalls is its abrupt ending. Not much seemed to be resolved – friendships were made and unmade quite quickly, and a so-called “love” was replaced in the course of one short train ride from the western suburbs into Chicago; however, when one recalls the superficial yet “every moment is THE most important moment of my life” high school days, it becomes easier to accept Charlie’s emotions and escapades as sincere, if not a bit over-the-top (even for a gay teen!). I read this book in one day, but it’s certainly something I would recommend to friends, especially those open to the idea of exploring the inner-thoughts (and the inner-bedroom, classroom, bathroom, etc. activities) of a gay teen. If you’re a reader who is easily embarrassed by sexual exploration or honesty, this one is probably not for you. If you’re a gay man or teen who’d be interested in a novel which exposes openly and honestly all the truths you may have had to keep hidden – pick it up and pass it on. I quite enjoyed it.

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