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Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Ben Wireman is partially deaf and completely insecure. The only two things that make him feel normal are being a soccer goalie and hanging out with his best friend, Tyler.

Tyler Nuson is the golden boy, worshiped by girls and guys alike. But Tyler’s golden facade is cracking, and the dark secrets hidden behind it are oozing to the surface. Ben has no idea what to do when T
Published September 1st 2016 by Carolrhoda Lab
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Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I kindly received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I fell in love with this book. Our protagonist, Ben, is enduring those always-difficult months of high school senior year. He's also partially deaf, and very self-conscious about the hearing aids he wears. His best friend, Tyler, is getting more and more distant, presumably because of their upcoming departures. They're both a bit stereotypical -- soccer stars who party each weekend with the hottest people of the sc
Thank you to NetGalley, CarolRhoda Lab and Lerner Publishing for the amazing ARC, Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature by Sashi Kaufman. The friendship of Ben and Tyler will speak to teens, students and YA readers. Best friends since fourth grade, soccer players and now seniors, Ben sees/feels things changing with Tyler and doesn’t know why. Very insecure due to his hearing aids, Ben does so much internal thinking, worrying, and agonizing about what is going on with Tyler, going to college (he d ...more
First thought: What kind of ending was that?! That was the most abrupt and unsatisfying ending I've ever read. What had the potential to be a really excellent book, especially in regard to portraying the deaf and hard-of-hearing, turned out to be a real flop. I didn't dislike this book, but after finishing the whole thing, there's not much that I liked, either.

Full review to come here and on my book review blog,
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Still in the afterglow of just finishing this amazing second novel by Sashi Kaufman. Her characters are so real and so lovable; I really wasn't ready to let them go in the end. The wit in the writing and the absolute understanding of how teenagers feel like "freaks" in the world make this a magical read. ...more
Stephanie A.
What a fantastic friendship, featuring the trope of The Golden Boy athlete + his nerd sidekick, except in this scenario the Golden Boy really IS genuinely nice and friendly towards everyone (I mean, he hooks up with girls and objectifies them, but the girls are definitely into being casual), and the nerd sidekick is actually a hot athlete too, just shy and self-conscious about his hearing aids. To my delight, they are soccer stars, a rarity in American YA but which is totally my jam as a former ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was a hot mess for many reasons, most importantly that it is painfully, offensively homophobic in that "look at me being all tolerant and definitely not homophobic" sort of way: Two guys can just be really really close friends without being gay, you know. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay. It would be perfectly fine if one of my main characters turned out to be gay. THEY'RE NOT. But it would be fine if they were. Really. Totally fine. Seriously. ...more
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature was a book that I came across when researching what books would be at BEA16. It sounded like one I'd really enjoy, so I was excited when the publishing company were giving out ARCs on the second day. This is one of those coming-of-age books that I feel like contemporary lovers would really enjoy, even if you can't relate to every aspect of the book. Despite the specifics, this book is truly about growing up, becoming the person you want to be, falling in love ...more
When I saw that the main character, Ben, was deaf (well partially so), I was all over this book. I'm deaf. But profoundly so.

But that actually resulted in me having a lot of trouble with Ben. he's now in high school and still having a problem with being deaf? Feeling insecure and unhappy with himself? I'm sorry but GET OVER YOURSELF. I forget now when he lost his hearing but he had done so by the time he met Tyler who became his best friend.

In any case, it's now the high school years. Ben can'
Allison Renner
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: required, ya
High school is hard enough without being self-conscious about your hearing aids. It's been especially rocky for Ben, who grapples not only with his hearing loss, but also with being eclipsed by his popular, athletic best friend Tyler. Senior year should be the time for Ben and Tyler to coast by, but instead Tyler is backsliding, failing, and talking back to the soccer coach. Ben, on the other hand, discovers that girls ARE interested in him, and starts to come out of his shell. Ben should just f ...more
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I'm not entirely sure what to think of this book. It wasn't what I was expecting, but the writing was good and it was really hard to put down. It's not one of those make you cry, make you laugh out loud kind of books, but overall I really enjoyed it. Ilona was definitely my favorite character - she seemed the most real-to-life character, like you don't tend to find in books anymore.
Valerie Cole
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clan-macleod
Sashi Kaufman packs so much into this book: about friendships and self confidence and what holds us back from being ourselves and all that shit that we hold onto in high school.
Eden Joi Turner
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
What an actual waste of my time.

The characters were unbearable and I can't believe there were so many passive-aggressive gay freakouts by two straight boys. Also, what happened with the babysitter was truly terrible so why did the author downplay it so much???

I'll give this a 1.5/5 because the writing wasn't terrible but jesus, this plot.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Wong
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great coming of age book. Had me hooked until the last word. I wish it didn't end so abruptly. ;( ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
COULD have been the gay book we all needed. but it FLOPPED into heterosexuality
Kelsey McLane
This is a fun, quirky, think-outside-the-box story about a young guy just trying to figure it out. I love his weird relationship with the weird girl at school, and how he learns the important lesson of judging a book by its cover. Ultimately, the friendships in this book are what trump the entire plot, and I love the interactions between these three main characters who, in very weird ways, become friends.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-realistic
Best friends Ben and Tyler are seniors in high school. Ben has convinced himself this he is the lesser of the two, due to his hearing loss and introverted personality. Tyler is outgoing, social, and tends to be Ben's protector. This relationship has worked for them well over the years...until now.

Things begin to fall apart, and neither Ben nor the reader know quite why at first. Clearly something is up with Tyler--he starts to blow off Ben, and begins having uncharacteristic mood swings. So ins
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
It took me awhile to get into the book. I thought it moved rather slowly, but the mystery of Tyler's behavior kept me intrigued. By the second half, I was hooked and wondering where this story would go. I liked the book overall, but felt it was a bit anticlimactic. I wanted more to happen, for the characters to evolve. The characters were well developed, I really felt a sense of who each person was, but I expected more. ...more
Rina m.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I just don't get why this book was written. it's not anything. all it was was a bad plot and rude gay jokes. "that's soooo gay," "oh my god, I love my best friend, does that make me gay?" "I hugged my best friend, am I gay now?" "I have 65 girlfriends but I think I'm gay. oh no! I need to wear a black v- neck t-shirt and go to a gay bar right now!"
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
meh. Although there were a lot of great themes and I did like the way that they were addressed it felt like there was just oo much going on interms of issues and it came together too neatly in the end.
rated it it was ok
Mar 22, 2017
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Nov 18, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2016
Amy Calderwood
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Apr 08, 2017
rated it it was ok
May 16, 2016
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2016
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Nov 28, 2016
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Jan 19, 2019
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Aug 29, 2018
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Sashi Kaufman is a middle school science and English teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. She loves contemporary YA, survival stories of all kinds, and journeys large and small. She is an amateur trash-picker and apologizes now if she has ever poached anything you did not mean to leave on the curb. She hates caraway seeds.

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