Dear Life, You Suck
Cricket Cherpin has lived at the Naskeag Home for Boys for the past eight years. He was sent to the Catholic home in rural, northern Maine when he was taken away from his neglectful, drug-addicted parents at the age of nine. As the oldest of the 48 boys living in the home, Cricket feels it is his job to look out for the younger kids or the “Little Ones” as he calls them. This sense of responsibility is his excuse for his frequent fights and suspensions from school. Cricket is constantly in trouble, and his lack of respect for authority figures, such as the nuns that run the home and his school principal, does not help his case.
"By creating Cricket Cherpin’s compelling voice with an extreme bluntness and a one of a kind use of language, Blagden makes DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK honest and unique. He delivers a brilliant story about what it means to face the past and present in order to move forward with the future."
Because he is on the verge of turning 18, Cricket must decide what do with the rest of his life. He knows he can’t live at the home forever. He sees only three pretty sucky options for his future --- dealing drugs, fighting professionally or simply putting an end to it. This changes when Cricket realizes some people truly care about him and the outcome of his life. One of these people is Wynona Bidaban, a girl he has been crushing on for years. As Cricket focuses on the positives in life instead of on the negatives and his tragic past, he finds that maybe life doesn’t have to suck.
Cricket Cherpin is a troubled, complicated teenager who is discovering what it’s like to become an adult. He does not welcome this, especially, because the revelation is forcing him to come to terms with a number of troubling things in his life --- his unfortunate past, his behavior and his plans for the future. Cricket often lacks the maturity or the desire to accomplish this himself. He is definitely a flawed character.
DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK is a coming-of-age story from an unusual and distinct perspective. Scott Blagden gives Cricket a rather peculiar way with words and a comically cynical personality that form a wonderful, complex character. This helps what would typically unfold as a serious, tragic story become a more humorous, light-hearted story with emotional and heartbreaking elements. By creating Cricket Cherpin’s compelling voice with an extreme bluntness and a one of a kind use of language, Blagden makes DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK honest and unique. He delivers a brilliant story about what it means to face the past and present in order to move forward with the future.
Reviewed by Amanda P. on March 25, 2013