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King of the Screwups

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,994 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But he's got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most.
When Liam finally kicked out of the house, his father's brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magn
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 6th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyLooking for Alaska by John GreenSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Best Teen Books About Real Problems
395th out of 2,014 books — 10,815 voters
Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsWintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonIf I Stay by Gayle FormanShiver by Maggie StiefvaterNorth of Beautiful by Justina Chen
Printz 2010
42nd out of 62 books — 263 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kim

"Everything popular is wrong” so writes Oscar Wilde, and why wouldn’t he? The snarky bastard. He was in a mood, of course. He wanted to be adored, right? Who doesn’t really? Isn’t that the angst of it all? Who hates me? Will I be the freak du jour today? Oh shit, the head cheerleader is talking to me, what the hell?

High school was not the best time for me… believe it or not. I was shy and therefore considered a bitch because I stared at the ground, hiding behind my 7 inch bangs and never making
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Andrew Hicks
This book’s got pedigree. A starred review from Publishers Weekly promises comedy and a protagonist you’ll feel for. A starred review from School Library Journal praises K.L. Going for “defying stereotypes” and creating “memorable characters.”

(Bonus points to each critic for not calling protagonist Liam Gellar “Holden Caulfield if he’d been written by a woman as a straight guy obsessed with fashion.”)

Four more quoted reviews on the inside cover make this book out to be fresh and innovative, bu
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Michael
Liam Gellar's father is a successful business man and his mother a world-renowned model. Given that combination of genes, Liam should have the world at his feet. And in some areas, he does. When it comes to being popular and well-liked by his peers, he excels. When it comes to his classes, his grades and pleasing his father, well, let's just say he's coming up a bit short. Liam is hard on himself, constantly seeking his father's approval and never quite succeeded. This leads to Liam thinking of ...more
Sara
This is a unique story, and because of that, Going may have written herself out of an audience.
The protagonist, Liam, is a supermodel in the making. He's drop-dead gorgeous, has inimitable fashion taste, and has a real taste for all things fashionisto. On the other hand, his father is a world-class controlling jerk who sends Liam to live in a trailer park.
The most interesting and well-balanced character in the story is Aunt Pete, a gay, cross-dressing radio DJ who takes Liam in when he's homel
...more
Kat
Well, "Fat Kid Rules the World" still remains my favorite K.L. Going book thus far, but this one was pretty good. Liam wasn't particularly likable to me, but the premise of his character is pretty amusing: a guy who screws everything up because he's too "perfect." Well, in the social context of high school, at least. He's the heartbreaker, the athlete, the fashionista, the rich boy, the teenage Adonis... Mr. Popularity. But he screws up one time too many for his CEO father and is shipped off to ...more
Mama
Liam Geller is the hilarious hero of this story. He stars out the book as a popular kid who has labled himself a screwup, and he thinks he can't do anything right. He get's kicked out of his house to live with his witty gay uncle. While living with his "aunt" Pete he tries to be everything he's not, and comically screws up at being a geek, a problem that, unfortunately, no teen actually haves.

This was a bubbly and a genuinely funny book that had me cackling with joy all through it. Although I fo
...more
Mckeda Knight
Liam Geller was a teenage boy who thought that the only thing he was ever good at ,was screwing things up perfectly. He was never able to accomplish a task without making a complete fool of himself. Liam had quite influential parents and thus he was able to be ranked as one of the most popular kids in his school. He always had the trendiest style and fashion. Liam at a young age sought to impresses his father with his academic performance however his father would tell him that his work was nothi ...more
Caleb Conaway
King of the Screwups is a very different book from what most of us are used to reading. It has the difficult story of a boy in a bad relationship with his father, with deep undertones of societal discrimination. If you ignore the story (which I wouldn't suggest, it's phenomenal), then you can read in between the lines to find the statements the author is making on discrimination. Uncle Pete is gay, and is hated by his town and most of his family for it. Darleen is a smart woman in a small town o ...more
Pam
Jun 21, 2010 Pam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction, ya
This book is a great read for a reluctant high-school reader. Here is a kid who has it all -- money (dad is a CEO), looks (he looks just like his mother a famous runway model), popularity (the girls always love him) and he is a great athlete. However he constantly screws up, especially where his father is concerned. After being caught in flagrante delicto by his father, he is thrown out of his house just as senior year is starting. Sent to live with his gay, glam rocker of an uncle in a small to ...more
Aaron
Liam Geller would seem to have everything. His mom used to be a supermodel, but after retiring she now owns a super-successful clothing boutique. His dead is an uber-businessman, raking in millions of dollars. Having what he wants is never a problem ... or so it would seem.

Liam, entering his senior year in high school, has a bit of a reputation of being a party-boy. When his father comes home and catches him with a girl on his father's desk, everything seems to come to a head. Liam's father is d
...more
Sarah
From my YA Book blog:

What makes this book so wonderful is Liam, the main character, and his Aunt Pete, a Glam rocker who dresses in ladies clothes and plays '70s music. He is about as outcast from his family as it is possible for a relative to be and when Liam is sentenced to live with him after his father kicked him out, well, it's a match of Mr. Popularity versus Mr. Outcast.

Liam is just a heartwrenching character. He just wants to do things right but he has such a skewed vision of what is rig
...more
Dawn Vanniman
Liam Geller is the only child of a former model and a CEO. The only thing he seems to be good at, in his opinion, is screwing up. Finally his Dad throws him out. Instead of going to his hated grandparents, which his Dad thinks he's doing, he goes to live in a trailer park with his "Aunt" Pete, his Dad's brother.


Aunt Pete is a cross dressing gay glam rocker. Liam's Dad doesn't approve of or speak to Pete. Pete agrees to take Liam in and tells him he needs to figure out what he's going to do. The
...more
Miriam
This book had potential to interest - the narrator is a beautiful 17-year-old, aspiring model who, after being kicked out by his disapproving, successful businessman father, ends up living in a trailer in upstate NY with his middle-aged gay, glam-rock uncle. Sounds interesting right? But it isn't. The characters are poorly developed and every situation - the kid's relationship with his father, the parents' relationship, and the tension between the father and uncle - felt cliched. Worst though is ...more
Nicole
May 11, 2010 Nicole rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: someone who didn't know better
Shelves: lgbt-etc, ya
Interesting premise: a beautiful boy is popular against his will, is popular despite actively trying not to be, is popular to the point of ridiculousness.

My sympathies only stretch so far, you know? Oh poor little pretty one, everybody wants to be your friend, there there.

Props to Going for
A: Creating a parent who really does NOT have his kids best interests at heart.
B: Creating a straight boy who is very into fashion and passionate about clothing displays.
C: Portraying a gay, middle-aged uncle
...more
Colleen
When Mr. Popularity Liam Geller's type-A dad kicks him out of the house, Liam goes to live with his cross-dressing uncle Pete in a trailer park upstate. As Liam struggles to change, to be unpopular, his uncle battles to help him be true to himself in the face of parental disapproval.

Based on the flap copy, I thought this book would be funny and poignant- a great light read. Though it was in fact funny and poignant, it was also a painfully raw look parental mental abuse at its worst. I was shock
...more
Alaina
Ever since Fat Kid Rules the World I have loved this author for her ability to write real people. Liam's parents are perfect people who have screwed up, a lot, in ways that many parents do. Liam's life shows a reflection of their issues, plus a healthy dose of his own. Even his uncle Pete, the gay, cross-dressing glam rocker, isn't perfect at living up to his own ideal of not compromising who he is for anyone. There are little asides that give us glimpses of other people's screwups that they usu ...more
Raina
Liam is popular. He’s the son of a famous businessman and a supermodel. He’s hot and knows how to dress to make the most of it. And he’s terrible at school. This serves him well among his peers, but his father, businessman that he is, is not impressed. Liam’s father disapproves of nearly everything about Liam. And after one more wild party which violates his father’s desk, Liam is kicked out of the house. He lands in a trailer in a tiny town, living with his father’s estranged brother, who happe ...more
Nancy
Liam Geller is a very popular teen, but in his father's eyes, he can only do wrong, always screwsup, gets into trouble. Finally, his dad throws him out and he goes to live with his gay uncle. Living in a trailer in a small town is not exactly what Liam had in mind for his senior year - especially after having lived in such glamorous cities as Paris when his mother was at the top of her modeling career. Liam can't quite figure out how to fit in because he really doesn't believe in himself. No won ...more
Donna Whitlock
Aug 30, 2011 Donna Whitlock is currently reading it
This is an easy read. Readers will sympathize with Liam, the main character. He is thrown out of his parent's home because his parents feel that there is nothing more they can do for their son. He refuses to take responsibility for anything in his life. He has no direction and his grades have hit rock bottom. He is taken in by his Glam/Rock gay uncle, Aunt Pete that lives in a trailer. As hard as Liam tries to be unpopular at his new school, he fails. The book moves quickly from one quirky episo ...more
José Ramos
"King of the Screwups" begins with a 17 year old Liam Geller, who after his father, a CEO to a major company, finds him half naked and drunk (with a girl) in his home office decides that he has had enough. He decides to send him off to live with his grandparents in Nevada. Liam, who thinks that that is a bad idea, chooses to go off to upstate New York to live with his washed up, gay uncle; who Liam’s dad hasn’t spoken to in over ten years. His mom, an ex-supermodel, is overjoyed because she hasn ...more
Kaleb
Objective Summary-

Liam Geller has figured out that no matter how hard he tries or what he does he always screws up. Liam’s father, Allen walks in to find his son about to make out with a girl. This pushes him past his breaking point. He decides he is going to kick Liam out and send him to his Grandmas and Grandpas in Nevada. Instead of calling them his mom convinces him to call his “aunt” Pete who is really a guy, he lives in a trailer in Pineville, New York

When Liam arrives at his uncles house
...more
Sarah
This one had popped up on my Goodreads Recommendations page, and I figured I could use something light after reading a heavy book, and also anything that mentions glam rock or David Bowie tends to peak my interest. But in the end, I was rather disappointed.

One, it's very much a poor little rich white boy story. To be fair, I started out being completely uninterested in the main character (Liam), and the author managed to get me to start feeling for him pretty quickly, but it didn't end with a pa
...more
Miriam Rizzo
Recensione del blog Le passioni di Brully

Se pensate che questo romanzo sia il solito romance, avete sbagliato.
Il re degli incasinati è una continua scoperta, con un protagonista maschile che adorerete. Liam Geller!
In questa storia lo conosceremo benissimo, perché oltre alla narrazione ci saranno parecchi salti nel passato che ci permetteranno di capire più a fondo tutta la situazione.
Liam, dopo essere stato beccato dal padre (Allan) ubriaco e con una ragazza semi vestita nella scrivania, perd
...more
Kate
A unique twist on K.L. Going's pitch-perfect teen voice, KING OF THE SCREWUPS features Liam, a fashion-conscious high school boy (and no, he's not gay) who would love to be a model. When he screws up one too many times for his high-powered CEO father, he ends up shipped off to Upstate NY to live with his glam-rock uncle in a trailer park. A funny, poignant, and hopeful read that had me cheering for Liam at the end.
Stacey
“What I'm Best At, by Liam Geller. (…) I would have to say that the one thing I truly excel at is screwing up. I am very, very good at it there are many ways in which I manage to screw up far more than the average person. Whereas most people screw up only once in a while I am very consistent about it and even screw up at screwing up when I meant to be screwing up” (Going 173). King of the Screwups is about a high school senior, Liam Geller. Liam has spent his whole life in a spot light because o ...more
Erikan9
Cosa rende popolare qualcuno e qualcun’altro no? E’ proprio vero che essere amati dai compagni di scuola ne pregiudica i risultati? E se questo qualcuno volesse a tutti i costi cambiare registro e diventare sfigato?

Se si tratta di Liam Geller il risultato può essere solo quello di assistere ad una marea di disastri. In buona fede, eh, ma senz’altro voler cambiare la propria natura non è così semplice e, probabilmente, nemmeno giusto. Per questo il ragazzo si troverà ad affrontare la realtà e sop
...more
Hunter
I think it was an excellent story about a young man going through some rough times. It's not a book that would appeal to an older adult or a younger teen, but the 17-18 age group especially a senior would benefit tremendously from reading it. Liam Geller is a great protagonist and all of the challenges he faces are very easy to relate too. It's an awesome, inspirational book that makes you see the bright side of things even when you're in a dark place. Finding yourself is usually the biggest cha ...more
Nicole
A very well written story about finding who you are and being true to yourself. Going created a great cast of supporting characters. Aunt Pete was great.
Jenna Dela cruz
This book was so sad. It was so emotionally draining reading the pain Liam experiences. But it's a great story.
Megan
I wanted to keep reading this because Liam is such a likeable character. His inability to be unpopular reflects our society's enamour with good looks, and his struggles with his emotionally abusive father are heart-rending. I would have given this four stars, but Liam was a little too passive and his character barely began to resolve anything when the book ended. Life doesn't have easy resolutions, but I wanted Liam to start to recognize that his father was emotionally abusive. It needed more re ...more
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K.L. Going is the award winning author of numerous books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World was named a Michael Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association, and was included on YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults list and their list of Best Books for the Past Decade. Her books have been Booksense picks, Scholastic Book Club choices, Junior Library Guild sele ...more
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“You can't create love, Liam. You just have to take it wherever you find it.” 8 likes
“Doesn't it bother you that people don't get it?'

Pete starts to shake his head then he catches himself and holds still.

Nope,' he says. 'If you know what you love, it doesn't matter what other people think. Besides, people are challenged when they're uncomfortable.”
5 likes
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