Narrative Loserdom (From Journal One) by Ryan Collins

Narrative Loserdom (From Journal One)
written by Ryan Collins          
published by CreateSpace

Why did I pick this book: The author, Ryan Collins, requested that I read and review his debut novel. I gladly accepted it! (The author provided me with a free digital copy of his book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I really did. I laughed out loud and truly enjoyed this book. I read it in about a day. 

It was funny and insightful for me as a mom of boys who will be this age in the years 2023 and 2026. I know some of the antics will be different in twelve years but I have a feeling they will be so similar. Some of the events in this book reminded me of some of the stuff that my brother did when he was that age, some twenty+ years ago. At least the stuff that I remember occurring or heard about years after the fact. In fact, I was telling my mom about this book and she was laughing and referred to things my brother had pulled that sounded so similar despite happening in the mid 1980s. 

The main character – the writer of “Journal One” – is a very likeable kid that gets himself into trouble. He knows what he is doing is wrong, but he does it anyway and tries to justify it. So funny, some of the rationale behind his thoughts and actions! I love that he loves his Lord and Savior and tries to do the right thing. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always succeed at doing the right thing…but he tries!

Girls are not the main thing in this book. They were definitely present in the writer’s thoughts but they were not the reason for his existence. His obsession over Sterling seems typical…especially when he doesn’t get the hint.

This book is written as a journal. There are misspellings and abbreviations and various rambling to the author – Justin Taggart – himself. It reads as a journal, which was great to me. 

In the end, I wanted this kid to not be a loser or think of himself as a loser.

Would I recommend it: I would if you want a quick read that will make you smile…and shake your head in some parts. Boys will be boys! I would even recommend it to some of my cousins who are this age, or approaching this age…though not for ideas of things to pull, but for the knowledge that hey, we all go through it.

Will I read it again: When I started it, I wasn’t sure. When I finished it, I wasn’t sure if this would be a book that I would read again. Now, after processing and thinking about the book, I will read it again in the future. 

About the book – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS: Justin Taggart is a 15 year old sophomore in high school. He decided to write a journal chronicling a year of his life – the free time, the friends, the girls, the sports – whatever comes to his mind and whatever happens in his life.

Justin has a best friend, Adam, and most of Justin’s journal entries include Adam. Adam is  porn-addicted, easily talked into things, kind of bored but always there friend. Justin isn’t always nice to Adam and Adam isn’t always nice to Justin. But the two are clearly best friends, there is no doubt about that. The two guys mow their neighbors’ lawns together because while Justin needs the money, Adam does not…he just wants to hang out with his best friend. 

This journal tells of Justin’s antics as an amateur lock picker (not too successful – even a crowbar wouldn’t crack open a Coke vending machine), a cable thief, a peddler of late-night movies (he did get some classmates to buy them), a kid who has been saved and who is trying to do the right thing…well, trying to survive the crazy world called high school. 

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

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