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October 28, 2013

ReaLITy Reads: Lynn’s Response to WHEN WE WUZ FAMOUS by Greg Takoudes

Realistic fiction is a unique genre in YA because it illustrates challenging situations you may not have personally experienced but connects you to emotions you have. Whether it's uncovering life-altering secrets, making a tough choice, coming to terms with your sexuality or finding your voice, realistic fiction addresses themes relevant to real life. To highlight some of their fantastic realistic fiction, Macmillan established their ReaLITy program. Our Teen Board decided to check out these reads and respond to them in this blog series.

To be honest, WHEN WE WUZ FAMOUS by Greg Takoudes didn’t look like the kind of book I’d enjoy reading. But after reading just the first chapter, I was immediately captured. The author does a great job of reflecting the true nature of teenagers in his characters. The vocabulary the characters use and the dumb mistakes that they make are all things that I think a real teen might do. I especially love the character Francisco. I totally understand the pressure he feels in school, especially with trying to fit in.

In middle school, I always struggled with making friends. I constantly found myself alone during lunch or without a partner during peer editing days. Just like Francisco, I would do desperate and stupid things (that I’m a little embarrassed to admit to) just to make people laugh and talk to me. That’s why, while I was reading, I unconsciously began cheering Francisco on or freaking out at his bad decisions. I’m really surprised by how absorbed I was into the book. Although I usually read cutesy romance and light comedic stories, I thought this dramatic book was still a great read. I think that people who especially like thrillers that keep throwing twists at you will love this book. But regardless of what your preferences are, I highly recommend you at least give this book a chance. Who knows, maybe trying a new genre will open you to a whole different set of books that you will love.