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18 February 2006 @ 08:56 am
M.T. Anderson's BURGER WUSS (4.5 stars)  
A character with a strong voice goes a long way, but mix in a shot of humor and a few dashes of the issues teens deal with, and you've got a winner. M.T. Anderson's Burger Wuss has so many right ingredients that's it's tough for me to tell just what I didn't like about it.

Anthony is so likeably helpless, the loser we all want to win. He's the guy who thinks that "There is a certain ferocity you need, to be a teenager in America," and is cleverly näive enough to mean it when he says it, even if he doesn't understand what he's saying.

And Turner's the opposite. From the moment I met him, I didn't trust him. I wanted him to drop his cell phone in the fry grease, walk into the cross hairs of a bird turd, put on magic shop deodorant that smells like onions, rip the back of his pants open on a bull's horn, gouge his knee on a VW bug bumper. You get the picture. None of those happened to Turner in the book, in case you had a visceral reaction to what I just said and made up new four letter swear words, scratching a thick "X" across your computer screen with your locker key. I made all those up.

But they could have been real, and I could have wanted Anthony to do them to Turner. That's how I felt, for a while. Then things switched on me. Someone changed my mind about him, and I started to see him as pathetic. Maybe that's what I didn't like about him. I wanted him to win so badly (Isn't that what we want for our heroes?) that I was disappointed when he turned out a sort of anti-hero, the kind that we're supposed to learn from in all the wrong ways and that leave a sour wrinkle in our brain because things aren't entirely right. Which isn't always bad, is it? Love, friends, jobs, family - they don't always work out. Life doesn't end up all whipped cream and strawberries all the time. Neither should books. Or so they say.

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sarahww on February 19th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
This has nothing to do with Burger Wuss, but I did enjoy the review
While watching speed skating last night, Russ and I both agreed that you look A LOT like Chad Hendrick, aka The Exception. Check it out:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/speedskating/5110229/detail.html
cooljammer00 on November 26th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
reading this book as a little kid...it was offputting. I knew not of books without happy endings.

it's been many years. how'd this book even end?
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on November 29th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC)
I wish I could tell you, but that wouldn't be any fun for people checking out the book review for the first time. Seems like you'll have to check it out for yourself.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
anthony
he seemed like one of those star wars fans to me lol the books was preety good in my own eyes i liked it and it shows real troubles of a teenager but i think your should have made anothoney a little better and not as weak as it shows in the book