Narrative Loserdom: (From Journal One) by Ryan Collins (Self-Published, 2011, 204pp.)
A fictional diary written by the character Justin Taggart, a 15 year old Texan boy who--let’s face it--may be a bit of a loser at school. Written in episodic spurts from July 2001 to July 2002, he chronicles his misadventures with his friend Adam, in which they invent new ways to steal TV cable, try to break into a Coke machine, and run a lawn-mowing service.
The diary format of the story definitely works, but with some flaws. While the writing style is very much consistent with the abilities of an aspiring writer, there’s too much description and explanation for the reader’s benefit, considering the narrator is writing out his thoughts by hand. In terms of character, we never really get to know anyone beyond Adam and Justin, so the protagonist’s half-hearted documentation of his high school crushes seem a bit pointless. With a very abrupt ending to conclude the story, Narrative Loserdom comes off as a somewhat amusing, but ultimately unpolished work. Recommended for Ages 15-17.
Click on cover for image source.