Exclusive Red Carpet Event: REALITY BOY by A.S. King [Review + Giveaway]
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 Boy was one of the most unusual books I have read this year. It is narrated by teenage, Gerald, a boy who once starred on a “Super Nanny”-type reality show.
From a young age, Gerald was bullied by his older sister and one day his anger and rage manifested into him defecating on the kitchen table. After many episodes of him leaving various members of his family his special “deposits” and having violent outbursts, Gerald begins anger management counseling. This soon leads Gerald into the pursuit of a normal life, despite his fears he is incapable.
At first, I must admit, I was a little off put by how much Gerald discusses poo and being known as “The Crapper”. I almost even put the book down after yet another poo-based chapter. However, at the urging of a friend, I kept on and I am really glad I did.
Through present-day narrative and a string of reality show memories, King gradually reveals more of Gerald’s personality and you can see him grow as a person as the book progresses.
The romance was light, but very sweet and inspiring – without ever being mushy. Gerald is able to find a meaningful relationship with a girl who believes she is just as broken. The two serve as mirrors of each other as they learn whom they are and how to trust.
King shows a vivid portrayal of the effects of being bullied and how one boy is able to overcome the taunts and find him-self – and love – along the way. Guest Review by: Victoria Lucas
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.