Sunday, March 29, 2009

LOSERVILLE by Peter Johnson

Derek's friend Lucas is trying to piece together the events that led to Derek's disappearance. The account begins in May as school is wrapping up for the summer. Their group of friends is making plans for summer jobs and more importantly, summer fun.

Everyone has family issues. Lucas's parents view his relaxed attitude as lazy and are constantly on his case about what they call his underachiever habits. Coco and Phoebe are twins dealing with a controlling mother. Nate annoys everyone by insisting that Kurt Cobain is emailing him with evidence that his death was not a suicide. After the death of Derek's mother years ago, he and his father muddled along as best they could. That is until his father met Claudia with her tight tops and short skirts. She isn't exactly the stepmother he's had in mind.

Hovering in the background as the friends begin their summer activities is the reality show Loserville. As Lucas relates their story, he constantly remarks on the world's addiction to reality TV. Derek is about to become part of the entertainment because Claudia has booked him a spot on Loserville hosted by Jesus (heys-zoos). A bit like Jerry Springer, Jesus confronts his young guests with evidence of how badly they've messed up their lives. Cameras follow the guests before the actual taping of the show, filming less than ideal moments in their lives and then editing it to show their true "loser" lifestyle. Derek's friends try to support him as they wait to see how the show will affect his life.

Lucas recounts the events of the summer leading up to Derek's appearance on Loserville and the strange incident that follows. Teen readers will no doubt relate to the high-risk behavior of the characters and their struggle to cope with demanding parents and other social pressures. Life isn't easy as a teen and author Peter Johnson uses that to create a "reality show" of his own as he brings his characters alive. LOSERVILLE is a fast read with appeal for older teens interested in taking a look inside the lives of other typical teens.

1 comment:

Lenore said...

The girl on the cover has a "tramp stamp"! So many waitresses have that in Germany.