Reality Boy by A.S. King
"Gerald Faust started feeling angry even before his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he's still haunted by his rage-filled youth--which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle--and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they're all just waiting for him to snap. And he's starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that...until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved."- summary from Amazon
King has done it again. I've been kind of weaving in and out of her books over the years but every time I read one, I'm amazed at the way she brings her characters to life and her way with voice. Each of her characters (of the books I've read) are vastly different. This is her second time writing from a male perspective, though it's my first time reading it (I haven't yet read Vera Dietz or Everybody Sees the Ants, though I own both), and she writes it so well!
Gerald is an angry person but being inside his mindset, we see a)why he is that way (especially as some revelations come to light toward the end of the novel) and b) more than just his anger- he's a hurting boy on the inside. He's a very sympathetic character and King does a great job with his voice. His interactions with his family and with those at his work are written really well and show off the different sides of his personality.
I liked the budding relationship between Gerald and Hannah. It's an interesting combination and King handles this first love very well. It's not always easy between them as they both have various issues to work out, but as the book goes on, these come to light and bring them both closer to each other. I also really liked the flashbacks to the Network Nanny taping sessions; it provided some great context to Gerald's character as well as the rest of his family.
Overall, another fantastic book from King. I did feel that the ending was a little too tied up quickly but otherwise good. I mean, I liked how things ended up but it just felt a bit rushed to me. Please check this book (and her others) out- you won't regret it!
FTC: Received signed hardcover from author! Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.