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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Freak Magnet

Freak Magnet by Andrew Auseon

Source: Harper Teen

Grade: 3.8 stars out of 5
Have you ever lived on the edge? Where your highs reached the peaks of the mountains and your lows reached the depths of the ocean? That sums up Charlie quite nicely. Charlie's isn't what you could call the "best" customer service because his mouth gets the best of him at times—always speaking more than needed, and most of the time, more than he should. That's why when Charlie spots the most beautiful girl that he has ever seen, he just has to tell her that. Even if that means chasing her down the street and around the corner screaming at the top of his lungs "GIRL!"

Gloria should be used to this after all she's just a magnet for strangers. Strangers who come to her and hand her random things or just saying the oddest things. She likes to call them freaks. And Charlie is the next freak drawn to this magnet.

But things aren't as they appear. Charlie loves astronomy as a means of escaping reality. A reality where his mother has been diagnosed with Huntington's disease since he was the age of 7. And Gloria who continues to mark down her memories in poetry, cooping with her brother's death, and a mother who just does not understand her.
Freak Magnet starts out with a high: energetic, loud, in your face. Downhill it goes. The further the novel is read, the higher the peak reaches until the inevitable happens. Gravity finally takes over and things begin to fall down. This course narration reveals the depth of inner insanity. Self denial: I am fine, I am okay. But that denial crumbles with various shocks: the progression of the disease, or the meeting of Charlie. Pieces are hard to pick up—jagged, sharp pieces—that requires a careful touch. Something that only family that can pick up the first piece. Saddening, tender, and fitting so well with the general storyline, these two past and current stories brought a further depth into the tale.

Charlie and Gloria are opposites in personality and appearance. Charlie is full of life, bubbly, with too much energy that it seems as though his eyes are flickering (who also happens to wear a Superman outfit below his clothes). Gloria is solemn, preferring to live her life in her brother's old car, surrounding herself in dirt and her duvet. Opposites attract they always say. Watching these two, their antics bring a grin from the readers' face. However I feel as though Charlie carries the weight of their relationship/friendship.

As I said the lows were ocean low. Toward the end I felt Charlie extremely unlikable, but a part of me understood his actions. There was also the case for the ending itself. Imagine just gazing at the setting sun, perfect. What about tomorrow though? Where will they be? Can they last? What about the families?

Freak Magnet makes me want to Auseon's other novels now.

Cover C

You can order Freak Magnet now.

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