FREAK MAGNET by Andrew Auseon


Age Range: 14 & up
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Bizarrely freakish Charlie bides his time, donning a superhero suit under his clothes, obsessing over astronomy, working at a pharmacy and mooning over Gloria, a hypnotizingly beautiful Middle Eastern teen poet. Charlie completely bumbles their first meeting in a D.C. coffee shop, and that’s just par for the course in the chapters that follow, which are told in their alternating voices. Very often Charlie’s behavior is more than odd, and at times it veers into the realm of a disorder comparable to OCD or Asperger’s, which Auseon never addresses; in this work, he doesn’t really need to. As in previous efforts, the author offers plenty of unique characterizations, unexpected plot twists and genuine moments of teen angst. What continues to undermine and overwhelm the better points of his work, however, is his determination to play armchair psychiatrist to his characters and spoon-feed his readers the underlying reasons why his characters behave the way the do. Each moment goes down like cough syrup, and by the time they finish readers will have gotten more than their fill of sticky Good Life Lessons. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-113926-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Wicker Park/Academy Chicago
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2010


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