Friday, November 1, 2013
Dear Life, You Suck
Disclaimer: There is some crude language (like swear words, drugs, and more graphic imagery) in this book. If that deters you, well you have been warned.
This book was HILARIOUS. I kept laughing out loud at it...in weird places because READING WAITS FOR NO ONE. ...I'm looking at you waiting rooms. ...hehehe.
An amazon summary so I can settle down a bit, "“The shrinkadinks think I have a screw loose. Ain’t playing with a full deck. Whacked-out wiring. Missing marbles.” Irreverent, foulmouthed seventeen-year-old Cricket is the oldest ward in a Catholic boys’ home in Maine—and his life sucks. With prospects for the future that range from professional fighter to professional drug dealer, he seems doomed to a life of “criminal rapscallinity.” In fact, things look so bleak that Cricket can’t help but wonder if his best option is one final cliff dive into the great unknown. But then Wynona Bidaban steps into his world, and Cricket slowly realizes that maybe, just maybe, life doesn’t totally suck." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
I would like to take a moment to summarize this book.
Cricket grew up in Boston where the environment makes your skin pretty thick. I'm reminded of people who take about everyone looks at life through a different window; imagine Cricket's window is jagged glass.
Every shard has it's own cut to make and he's just go to figure out the angle.
Cricket resides in a Catholic boy's home (which he fondly refers to as 'Prison' as it was converted from a manor to a prison to a Catholic boy's home) where he and the Little Ones (younger orphans) live with some pretty wicked nuns (I mean in the strict yet awesome sense). He's got a mean scar on his face that stretches from his eyebrow to the bottom of his cheek in an x fashion.
Cricket treats the world as some big kind of joke. There are things he takes seriously like defending the Little Ones. Who get picked on a lot due to their age, second hand clothes, and probably because they're orphans. ...which means that Cricket gets into a lot of fights as he always standing up for the bullied.
Then Wynona Bidaban steps up and starts helping him to mend his window a bit at a time.
...I'm going to derail from the summary and talk about the book title.
Now when books nab their book titles from one little line in the book or a character just happens to say something that has the book title in their sentence, I GROAN. I roll my eyes, deeply sigh, and question my further exploits in finishing the book.
This book definitely has it's title worked into the book.
BUT THAT'S OKAY.
BECAUSE IT TOTALLY FITS.
So Cricket has this teacher that pulls a fast one on his class and challenges them to write a letter to someone that they have a beef with; the letter will never be sent. He aptly writes, "Dear Life, You SUCK! I want out. See you on the flipside. Sincerely, Cricket" (Blagden, page 42, Dear Life, You Suck). But it keeps coming back. It keeps playing into the story. It was pretty beautiful in a horribly unobtrusive way.
Something else I just liked about Cricket's character is that he loved accents and playing with sounds, words, etc.; like a storyteller. It was fun to see that level of imagination just sprawl across the pages in a hilarious manner. AGAIN, some of his language is downright rude, offensive, etc but that only seemed to heighten what was going on around him. Like his defense mechanism was to build a wall of crap that we could see through, but he had to slowly see through it as well.
IT WAS AWESOME.
I just, I had to share.
It just seemed like such a good capture of a rougher version of life that isn't often portrayed in books.
Yeah, it was graphic, but in a refreshing way. Cricket toned it down when it was necessary and amped it when it was overly appropriate to.
He did come on a bit strong at first, but it worked.
Just, well done Scott Blagden. I tip my metaphorical, literary top hat to you.