Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson
About: Seventeen-year-old Margaret “Cuckoo” Clark keeps a journal detailing the trials and tribulations of high school life as she and her close-knit group of outcast friends try to break down the barriers between their school’s “warring nations.”
Why I Liked It: This is a book about a group of misfits who names themselves the “freak show” in order to beat the bullies to the punch. The “freak show” even goes ones step further and gives themselves names such as “Cuckoo” (aka Margaret who was in a mental institution after her mother left her for two months to fend for herself). “Brainzilla” who is known as the smartest girl in her class as well as “Zitsy” who as his name suggests is covered in zits.
This group laughs in the face of bullies and relies on each other for love and support. You couldn’t find a better set of friends than the “freak show.” This group of very close and funny characters gives a new life to the realistic novel genre.
I listened to the audiobook, which was great and easy to listen to. I laughed and cried with the characters, while hoping they would overcome their struggles. There were times when Patterson, the author, tied everything up too neatly, and issues like suicide were never fully explored though touched on. Lovers of realistic teen fiction novels should still give this book a try. Tip: Ignore the juvenile cover and march over to the audio section to get the full experience of “Cuckoo’s” funny yet heartbreaking story. You won’t be disappointed with Lauren Fortgang’s narration.
Reviewed by Veronica