Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Loser's Guide to Life and Love

When I saw that The Loser's Guide to Life and Love was by A.E. Cannon, it took me a few minutes to come up with The Shadow Brothers (1990) which is one of those great titles with bad covers. I liked the new book so much (after I wrested in from my son) that I have the older one on my desk to fling at someone today!

Ed is working at Reel Life,a movie rental store. He's not wild about the uniform (which includes bow tie and cummerbund), but he loves movies and enjoys working with his friend Scout. He also meets Ellie there, and strikes up a relationship with her-- but not as his boring, old Ed-self. No, because he has been forced to wear a name tag that reads "Sergio", he remakes himself as a suave Brazilian. (Hey, Dav Pilkey spells his name the way he does because of a Pizza Hut name tag, so it's not impossible.) Chapters are narrated by these three characters, as well as Ed's friend and neighbor Quark, and complicated romances arise between the four. Funny lines abound, and the brilliant thing is that much of the book centers on personal identity and reinventing oneself, which teenagers adore, and which doesn't get as much attention as it should. There is also a Midsummer's Night's Dream tie in that some people will like.

My only complaint is that I would have enjoyed the book more if it were only from Ed's point of view, but my son disagreed. That, and why has Ms. Cannon not written more funny boy books? She has five sons, she knows the ground. This is exactly the sort of book I've been looking for over the past month.


  1. Hah, funny boy book! We must have it also.

  2. Anonymous10:29 PM EST

    Hi Ms. Yingling,
    I am also a middle school librarian. I am addicted to your blog, and want to thank you for such honest and direct reviews. I can't believe you read almost everything before you buy it! I don't know how you do it, but I admire the effort.

    I nominated you for the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award. You can see the details on my blog, Not to worry, participation is optional. I just wanted to share with others how inspiring your blog is to me.

  3. I hadn't heard of this one at all, and it sounds great! Thanks!