Grade: 48/50 = A
Everybody told him to be a man.
Nobody told him how.
High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer working outdoors to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy-and Tyler’s secret crush. Soon his life is a roller coaster, with fantastic highs, devastating lows, and no seat belt to protect him. he has no choice. He’ll have to ride it out...
So the beginning started off slow for me. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t put it down, like I have with other books. I felt like it didn’t matter if I kept reading or not. But then I got really into the book and Tyler’s story. I mean his life is definitely twisted, like the title suggests. I really like Tyler, I think he is genuinely a good person who is just trying to find who he is. After years of abuse, whether physical or verbal, from his dad and his peers, he took a stand. Not a smart one, but a stand. After the incident, he got arrested and spent the summer working with the school janitors and working for a landscaping company. Over the summer, he changed from a dorky boy to a grown man.
We meet Tyler at the end of summer and we follow him on this journey to finding himself. While we go on this journey with him, we see him playing a game called Tophet a lot. The moral of the game is to get to the last level of hell and Tyler has no idea what happens when he beats the game.
I really like how this book was written. It was crazy, and like it says before you actually start reading “This book is not for children.” Laurie Halse Anderson did a great job describing her characters. I felt like I could have been in my own high school when she was talking about the popular kids. The popular girls in my school mostly played basketball and soccer instead of tennis though. I think she did a great job with Tyler’s sister as well. We see her in the beginning as this little frosh and even though she stays the kid sister, she definitely has times where she sounds like a grown up. And here I must give an example, because I love this quote and I wish I heard it back when i really needed to... “The popular kids aren’t really popular. They’re obnoxiously loud, good-looking, and rich. Nobody likes them, but they rule the place.”
Ok so I need to add that towards the middle of the book, I found myself starting to get angry at a lot of the other characters. I got really angry at Tyler’s dad who just seems like a complete ass. I just felt like a father should really try to see what his kid is actually going through instead of blaming him for everything. I feel like his dad thought he ruined his life, and I feel like if you aren’t going to try to be a good parent, then why bother having kids.
I am really happy I finished the book. The ending was amazing, the last line was amazing. I was moved with this book, just like I was with Speak. But I guess I shouldn’t have though otherwise with a great author huh?