272 pgs, 2012
Man there is not a good standard summary for this one so I’m gonna have to actually summarize myself. Sigh.
Carson Phillips has dreams. Big ones. But they start with getting out of high school, his small hometown, and getting into Northwestern. Carson gets good grades and is active in all the appropriate activities (newspaper, writing club, etc) that he thinks he’ll need to get into Northwestern. Unfortunately his propensity to say exactly what he’s thinking at all times means his peers do not like him. The newspaper is composed of 5 misfits who don’t want to be there and Carson usually ends up writing the whole thing himself.
Carson is dismayed to learn that his standard activities are too by the book for Northwestern and is encouraged to create a literary magazine. Initially by accident, but then by plan Carson digs up dirt on key popular students, blackmailing them into submitting entries for the magazine.
I probably would have hated Carson in high school even though I wasn’t popular either. He goes out of his way to make sarcastic comments to everyone (I saw it as a defense mechanism). But he’s definitely an entertaining character to read about.
He’s a funny and well fleshed out character and I desperately wanted him to get out of his small town – although I had concerns that college would disappoint him. All of the characters around him were one or two dimensional, but I think that was by design. That was all Carson chose to see in his peers.
Overall I enjoyed the book, but I just felt like something was missing. If Colfer authors a second novel I think I’ll give him another shot, because there’s a lot of potential here.
Enjoyability (3 out of 5 stars)
Relationships (1 out of 5 stars)
Writing (3 out of 5 stars)
This book will stay with me for 1 years.