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The Screwed Up Life of Charlie
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The Screwed Up Life of Charlie

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  528 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Sometimes, it's just easier to think I'm not the freak. I'm just in an alien world...Being Charles James Stewart, Jr., AKA Charlie the Second, means never "fitting in." Tall, gangly and big-eared, he could be a poster boy for teenage geeks. An embarrassment to his parents (he's not too crazy about them, either), Charlie is a virtual untouchable at his high school, where hu ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,318)
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Steve
I couldn't put this book down when I started reading it. That has not happened a in long, long time. Ferguson's story moved quickly and I grew attached to Charlie. I was dissappointed when the book ended and there was nothing left to read.
Becky
Ferguson, Drew. 2008. The Screwed Up Life Of Charlie the Second.

Okay, so maybe getting my scrawny ass pushed into the back of a Crystal Lake cop car wasn't the smartest thing I've done, but Dana's party last night--it sucked. She should thank me. The only thing anyone'll remember about the party is me getting busted.

What can I say about this one? I think you'll either love it or hate it. If you're looking for a book about the awkwardness and glory of a guy having his first boyfriend--plenty of f
...more
Brian
Only after I wrote the comments below did I happen to take a look at other reviews, something i've never done before as I'm generally uninterested in the opinions of other people.... And here's why:

If you expect your life to be changed by a YA book about a gay teen and your neither a YA or a gay teen, you obviously need the kind of help not found in the pages of a book you will read on your own.

Going on about how you have teen boys, had brothers, and thus 'understand' or 'know' teen boys and the
...more
Beverly
Sep 29, 2008 Beverly rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOONE!!!
I was torn, do I review this book (and be embarrassed that I actually finished/read it, or just delete it from my list so no one would ever know I picked it up...) Obviously, I choose to review. I was actually excited to read this book, because I went to school with the author. Even the back made it sound a little interesting, and hey, it was my High School, so why not give it a try. Wow - I don't think I've HATED a book this much in a very long time. I found it very offensive (and my book group ...more
Hope
I was very mercurial when it came to deciding whether or not I liked this book. I kept changing my mind, but in the end I decided I really did enjoy it. I think it captures the awkward feelings of high school lust and love quite well. I think the desire to fit in and find someone to love is something we can all relate to.

I will admit, I did find the mentions of sex and self-love a bit explicit. But unlike other readers on this site, I don't think that automatically means this book should get a b
...more
Anne Tenino
Hilarious, excruciatingly embarrassing and a dash of teen angst. Really, what else is there?
Brandon Will
Drew Ferguson looks male adolescence unflinchingly in the eye - the penis eye.

Wildly entertaining, with balanced amounts of truth and insight, it's a shame it's not marketed as a YA novel, because young adults could really get some great stuff out of this, both in knowledge and in entertainment. And, that's what it is: a truly punk young adult novel. It takes typical YA fare; first romance, friendships changing, and some sort of life-changing-nothing-will-ever-be-the-same-"problem"-novel-event..
...more
BookChic Club
Just putting this out there right away, this book is VERY explicit when it comes to sexual matters, particularly solo and with another guy. It is pretty much erotica with plot, and I do mean that in the best way possible because I really did enjoy this book. However, I do think that it pretty much limits the audience due to the amount and detail of sex that happens throughout the book. While I had no problem with it (being a gay man myself), it may make other people uncomfortable reading it. But ...more
Nancy
Charlie is the not only the dork of his senior high school class, is singled out for harassment for being gay, and is a huge disappointment to his father. Not only that, but his best friend since second grade now has a girlfriend, so he finds himself with a lot of time on his hands (and a lot of time with his hands on his dick). When cute and popular new student Rob shows an interest in him, Charlie keeps thinking it must be a mistake, but he soon finds himself with a boyfriend (and even more re ...more
Nikki Boisture
One of the funniest, truly laugh out loud books I've read in a loooong time. But warning! I'm not actually recommending this book to everyone, because I totally understand that it's NOT FOR EVERYONE.

It's very crude. A lot of dick-humor, and explicit sex scenes. Personally, I love filthy crude humor, that's just who I am. But I get it that others don't. What's even better about this book is that behind all the crudeness, (and you kind of have to look for this) there is a boy who is so incredibly
...more
Dave
A pretty good coming of age novel. I understand that this is Drew Ferguson's debut effort.
This book is written like a personal essay for college entrance turned into explosive personal, tell-all memoir (when I say "like" I am not using a simile, that is a conceit of the book).
I found the character of Charlie the Second interesting and compelling,if slightly unbelievable (he was pretty 'together' for such a dweeb). I also think that his supposedly horrifying existence as a high schooler was fair
...more
Scott
I had never heard of this book and only found it because it was shelved in the wrong section of the GLBT Library I volunteer at. The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second is the first novel by Drew Ferguson. I really loved this book on so many levels and I read it almost one sitting. The story centers around Charlie at 17 year old teenaged high school boy who is struggling to figure out who he is. Charlie like most teenagers struggles with his parents, his friends, and finding the keys to happin ...more
Huston Piner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jocardo
I absolutely loved this book! It was sweet, goofy, sexy, innocent, clever, funny, sad, romantic, erotic....everything I look for in a boyfriend! I ripped through this book and fell in love with the Character of Charlie. I loved his outlook on life and wished being a gay teenager would have been as "interesting" for me as it was for him. I am happy the way the book ended and I am sad to leave Charlie behind. It was nice to read a book about being gay without it really about being gay and no one w ...more
Leonel
I've been wanting to read Drew Ferguson's "The Screwed Up Life Of Charlie The Second" for the longest time, and I have had numerous start/stop moments with this book. I couldn't really get into it. I it because I am kind of not liking the character? Is it because of the journal set-up of the narrative? Or maybe I can't just relate anymore to a young adult high-school read? (I don't think it's the last one) Whatever it is, I finally finished the book, and I wish I could say I loved it or hated it ...more
Jeffery
Charlie, at first, felt like an annoying character to me with his constant complaining/mocking, but as I read on, I started to feel more sympathy and understanding towards him. Bink seems like an incredible best friend, and I wish there was more time with him (not his family). Rob, on the other hand, is obviously easily pissed off, but does like our protagonist apparently (though whether it's love I don't know). Charlie's parents have a constant presence in this book, and a good proportion of th ...more
Ryan Holden
This was the first gay-themed novel that I think really captured the difficulties of growing up gay and teenage relationships. It was also very graphic, which is realistic and enjoyable to me. The writing is rather well done, particularly for a LGBT novel. And the characters are great; I definitely felt with them throughout the whole book. Definitely something I would read again.
Robin
While this is a very enjoyable read, and well-written, when I got to the end I didn't feel as if I'd learned anything or had come to feel anything in particular for the protagonist, other than sympathetic. The writing is true but not deep, and the story line contained no surprises.
Amy
I had a hard time putting this one down, but then, I'm a sucker for gay/lesbian teen romances.
Vanessa
One of the funniest friggin' books I have ever read!
Steve Leonard
Nov 22, 2009 Steve Leonard rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K. Bird
I didn't go into reading this book with many expectations other than "here's another geeky high school character trying to find himself." I was surprised (pleasantly) to find out it's actually the story of a horny, gay teenager dealing with straight-boy relationships, some gay bashing, his first sexual relationship, parent-issues, and constant obsession with one's own body and er...body parts.

Charlie is snarky and self-deprecating and vulnerable. His voice draws you in and you are completely on
...more
Craig
A very enjoyable book. told through the writings of Charlie Stewart in his journal. Charlie is an awkward, geeky openly gay high school student who thinks a lot about sex. He finally gets to experience it after a new family moves into town and Charlie meets their son, Rob, who is also openly gay. They have a wonderful relationship through most of the book, but by the end things fall apart.

I was into 200+ pages of 258 pages and I questioned the title of the book. While there were issues in Charli
...more
Sean
I read an excellent review of this in the Chicago Reader tonight. It looks like a very good read indeed. Stay tuned.

I finished reading the book last week, though this is my first opportunity to indicate my pleasure with having read it.

Ferguson is a good writer; I found his characters compelling, interesting, multi-dimensional, and intriguing.

I will say it reminded me an awful lot of "Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, yet it stands on it's own merits of storytelling.

My only quib
...more
Eduardo
This book was different than I thought it would be. The strongest points were the characterization of Charlie and the interesting storyline. Charlie was a strong and likable enough character that I want to know what goes on in his life after the end of this novel, making this one of the few books where I want to read a sequel.

The main story is captivating enough to keep me engaged through all 250ish pages. (view spoiler)
...more
Ellen
An awesome friend of mine recommended this to me God knows how many years ago, and I've just gotten around to picking it up. The gist of what I knew about this story going in was that the main character is gay, the setting is practically my hometown, and it's incredibly racy.

On the one hand, this is only a surface description of the book. On the other, these are the three things I focused on the most.

"The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second" has a pretty self-explanatory title. Charlie is the
...more
Bianca
I found Drew Ferguson’s novel to be fascinating in its own right, though not wholly satisfying in terms of plot and character development. The main focus is Charlie’s life, his interactions with others and how blatantly self-absorbed he acts in his complicated existence. Charlie’s criticisms were amusing in the sense they lacked justified reason and simply stemmed from hormonal anger and hostility (and, perhaps, loneliness), but the fact this was the only solid element within the book was quite ...more
Soapychk89
For the sake of honesty, I should admit I didn't finish this book even though I have it marked as "read". A couple of factors turned me off of this book. One, I don't really get the sense that Ferguson cares for women as human beings much. Two, we get it, okay, guys masturbate. A lot.

The only likable female characters in the book are Rob and Charlie's mothers. All the girls they go to school with are vain, slutty bitches, and if they do happen to have any redeeming qualities, have fun digging t
...more
Ian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
Charlie Stewart the Second isn’t the most popular guy in his High School. He’s a geek with a dad, whom he calls First, that is always pushing him to do better. Not to worry though, Charlie is also pretty sarcastic and plays soccer. It’s actually that sport that begins to change his life, when a new kid joins the team. When the two start a relationship, Charlie is thrown into a world of discovery, passion...and death?

The Screwed -Up Life of Charlie the Second is told entirely through Charlie’s jo
...more
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Drew Ferguson received his MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College, Chicago. His work has appeared in Blithe House Quarterly, The James White Review, Hair Trigger, The Great Lawn and other publications. He lives in Chicago.
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