published by: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux
publish date: April 10, 2012
Chuck Taylor’s OCD has rendered him a high school outcast. His endless routines and habitual hand washing threaten to scare away both his closest friend and the amazing new girl in town. Sure he happens to share the name of the icon behind the coolest sneakers in the world, but even Chuck knows his bizarre system of wearing different color “Cons” depending on his mood is completely crazy.
This book is Hilarious! Seriously, I was laughing out loud reading this book. I'd never heard of Aaron Karo before reading Lexapros and Cons, but I was really impressed with his sense of humor and writing style.
Chuck is a great character. I'm always happy to find YA books written from a male viewpoint. I don't think there are enough of them out there. If we want this generation of boys to become readers we need to have books that they'll want to read, right? Chuck struggled with what I'm sure every teenage boy struggles with throughout high school, plus a few unique quirks.
The thing I liked about this book in comparison to some other male dominated contemporary YA that I've read recently is that the pop culture references were kept to a minimum. I think that's a really smart tactic, because it keeps the book from getting dated too quickly. Things that were mentioned aren't things that will go away anytime soon like the mom messing up the name of Wikipedia, calling it Flickipedia. That was pretty funny too.
This book contains some "mature themes". Because of that and some language, I would recommend this one to older YA readers only. That said, I think this book would appeal to a lot of high school kids.