Jenny Torres Sanchez writes her debut novel, The Downside of Being Charlie, with humor, truth, and little bit of “Why is this happening to me?”
Charlie Grisner was supposed to have an awesome senior year. Coming back from summer vacation thirty pounds lighter and his sights set on the beautiful new girl, Charlotte Vander Kleaton, Charlie finds nothing in his life ever goes the way he wants it to.
Charlie’s problems begin before school even starts as his mom leaves Charlie and his dad. At school, Charlie’s nickname of “Chunks” sticks and his locker partner is a devoted Lord of the Rings fan resulting in being the brunt of many practical jokes. Things continue to downward spiral, even though Charlotte takes an interest in Charlie and his photography class offers a great opportunity for a scholarship to college. As things start getting serious, Charlie has to face his fears, his family, and himself, before he can sort out his life.
I really liked this book because it reflected the true inner emotions of anyone who is having a hard time in high school. There was no sugar coating on how bad things were or how Charlie choose to handle the events, which just made it a better book. The characters each had hidden depths and were very realistic; each could all have their own novel. I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up because there is a lot of cussing and mature content.
One thing I didn’t like was how everything kept getting worse and worse, until…I can’t tell you without spoiling the book. I also didn’t like some of the formatting. The book was divided into four parts, each one named after a different photo taking technique. This annoyed me because even though Charlie is a photographer, the focus of this book isn’t about Charlie’s photos. It’s about Charlie.
Title: The Downside of Being Charlie
Author: Jenny Torres Sanchez
Publisher: Running Press Teens
Number of Pages: 266
More about the author: www.jennytorressanchez.com