The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second

Kensington Publishing Corp.
5
Free sample

A quirky gay teenager tries to find his way through life, love, and high school in this “funny, honest and engaging book, told with attitude and style” (Bart Yates).
 
Being Charles James Stewart Jr.—aka “Charlie the Second”—means that fitting in is something other people do. Tall, gangly, and big-eared, he’s the walking, talking epitome of a teenage geek. An embarrassment to his parents (he’s not too crazy about them, either), Charlie is a virtual untouchable at his high school, where humiliation is practically an extracurricular activity. But what’s driving him truly crazy is that while his hormones are raging like everyone else’s and his peers are pairing off, he remains alone with his fantasies.
 
Then, a new guy at school begins to liven things up in Charlie’s life. And for the first time in his seventeen years, he learns how it feels to be a star. But even cool guys can have problems—and that’s just one of the lessons Charlie is about to learn on this deliciously sexy, risk-filled journey from which there is no turning back.
 
“Ferguson’s exuberant portrait successfully re-creates coming-of-age’s dizzy heat” in this offbeat novel about fitting in, freaking out, and surviving the endless perils of puberty (Publishers Weekly).
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About the author

Drew Ferguson received his MFA in creative writing from Columbia College, Chicago. His work has appeared in Blithe House Quarterly, The James White Review, Hair Trigger, The Great Lawn, and other publications. He currently resides in Chicago. For more information visit, www.drewferguson.com.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Published on
Sep 1, 2008
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Pages
273
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ISBN
9780758263476
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Language
English
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Genres
Young Adult Fiction / LGBT
Young Adult Fiction / Romance / LGBT
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Perfect for fans of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down and Nina LaCour's We Are Okay, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
 
Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
 
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
 
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?


An ALA Rainbow Book List selection
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year

"With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who's heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere."—Kirkus, Starred review

"This is a good companion book for other anxiety-riddled stories, such as The Shattering by Karen Healey, and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella."—Booklist

"This hopeful offering will resonate with young people for their own lives, even if the journey is hard and takes time and patience...[a] compelling portrait of a teen’s experiences with anxiety and challenging family dynamics."--SLJ

"Mac carefully makes clear that Maeve is plenty able to find joy other places than the perfect girl and that she’s working at dealing with her own problems; the romance is therefore lovely and cozy and free from overtones of dependency. The descriptions of anxiety are true and powerful, and romance buffs will likely revel in a book celebrating deep connection."—The Bulletin

"Mac is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works... [An] affecting story.''—Publishers Weekly
A Golden Kite Honor Book of 2018 * A Kirkus Best Book of 2017

“A poetic love letter to the complexities of teenage identity, and the frustrations of growing up in a place where everything fits in a box—except you.”—David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite

"Courtney Stevens firmly reasserts herself as a master storyteller of young adult fiction; crafting stories bursting with humor, heart, and the deepest sort of empathy."—Jeff Zentner, 2017 Morris Award Winner for The Serpent King

"Courtney Stevens carries us into the best kind of mess: deep friendships, small town Southern gossip, unexpected garage art, and unfolding romantic identity."—Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic.

Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity.

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