Friday, June 13, 2014

Guy Friday-- Also Known as Elvis

Also Known as ElvisHowe, James. Also Known as Elvis.
15 April 2014 by Atheneum Books 

Wise-cracking Skeezie is trying to play it light as his friends from The Misfits go off and have summer adventures, but while Bobbie, Joe and Addie are off camping and such, Skeezie is babysitting his younger sisters, working at the diner to try to earn money to help his mother with bills, and trying to figure out what his father is up to when he comes home to visit after being gone for two years. Skeezie also has to put up with obnoxious classmates who give him a hard time, and isn't quite sure where his relationship with the much older Steffi is going. When it turns out that his father is back home to get a divorce from his mother, Skeezie begins to wonder if life will ever improve. In an epilogue, we find out that it does.
Strengths: This has many components that make it a good book for boys-- it has its funny moments, a bit of romance, lots of responsibility for Skeezie, and a dog, too. While it helps to have read the other books, it's not completely necessary. Good cover.
Weaknesses: The notes from Skeezie as a 24-year-old awaiting the birth of his son and flashing back to when he was twelve are a bit confusing, and the epilogue... well, I hardly ever like epilogues that tell me what the characters do when they grow up, so it's not really fair to hold that against this book. I just got an overall feeling that this was close to what my readers wanted but not quite right. I will probably buy a copy and see how it does. I liked Skeezie's story, but it would have been better (less confusing) without the notes from his older self.

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