Karissa's Reviews > The Downside of Being Charlie

The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: book-club

I read this for my YA Book Club, and I still have mixed feelings about it. Many in the club enjoyed it, one utterly hated it, and I still feel just in the middle. It's a good story about a boy who used to be overweight dealing with life in general.

Charlie's dad sent him away to fat camp before his senior year of high school, and he actually participated and lost all of the weight. Though it sounds like he did so for Charlotte, the girl who moved down the street which is sort of stupid. Do it for yourself!
His mom is a little nutso. She disappears for days or week or even months at a time, and Charlie and his dad don't talk about it. They just act like nothing has happened when she comes back and resumes everything as normal. However this time is different because Charlie learns a horrible secret his dad has been hiding. And when his mom returns, she learns about it as well and goes off the deep end.

I know I will sound like a horrible person when I say this, but it won't be the first time: I wish Charlie's mother had died. Honestly. I think things would have gone in a better direction. Especially since I find the ending so hard to believe.

I loved his best friend. I'm just going to leave it at that. Because I loved him, and he's the ultimate best friend I think. If only Charlie could find it in himself to confide in him.

I hated Charlotte. The way she felt about Blanche in Streetcar Named Desire? That's how I felt about her. She was stupid and a ho bag.

I was really excited when Charlie became bulimic. This was the first time I would see it from a male point of view, but instead they just gloss over it. Even at the end of the book, he is still throwing up but no one seems to be worried enough to get him help. What is up with that?

So, it's an okay read. But I'm still in the middle and think if I had to be swayed, it would be in the Didn't Like direction.

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