#124 Reality Boy

Title: Reality Boy
Author: A. S. King
Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: ebook
Page Count: 272 pages
Status: Read from May 5th to 7th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Mental Health, Coming Of Age, Realistic Fiction.

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is still haunted by his rage-filled youth–which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle–and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they’re all just waiting for him to snap. And he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that…until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

Everyone knows his secrets.

And everyone has psychoanalyzed him.

And everyone knows what his problem is.

And everyone knows he has baggage.

And everyone thinks they know how to help him.

Because everyone believes what they see on TV.

Its not easy to be Gerald Faust. Ia terlanjur terkenal sebagai anak bermasalah, thanks to reality show called Network Nanny (like Nanny 911, i guess). Reality show tersebut ‘menangkap’ Gerald yang bandelnya minta ampun sampai ia bisa -maaf- pup di meja makan dan di sepatu ibunya. Saking bandelnya, ia menonjok sang Nanny. Tapi tidak satu pun viewer acara tersebut yang tahu bahwa bahkan sebelum tampil di Nanny Network, ia adalah korban kekerasan kakak pertamanya, Tasha.

Sekali lagi, terimakasih kepada Network Nanny, Gerald Faust tumbuh dengan anger issues. Beruntung, ia bertemu dengan Hannah, gadis yang bekerja part time di tempat yang sama dengannya. Gadis yang aneh dan juga ‘bermasalah’. A moment or two, Hannah was enough for him to forget that he’s angry. But, big moment its not enough. Its not enough because there’re still Tasha and his mom that makes him retarded and become his anger triger. It needs Hannah and himself to stand for a do-over.

This novel, ugh, suffocating. As if i’m the one who has ‘the baggage’.


Sekali lagi, A. S. King membuat saya merasakan posisi yang sama sekali ngga mudah yang dialami lead character yang diciptakan di novelnya. Pertama, lewat Everybody Sees The Ants, saya jadi remaja yang dibully. Kedua, di Ask The Passengers, saya mengecap rasanya berada di posisi seorang remaja yang mencari jati diri dengan problema orientasi seksualnya. Lalu di novel ini, jadi abuse victim yang kemudian menyimpan kemarahan yang tak kunjung habis dan dengan keluarga yang disfungsional. Its not easy to breathe. Sigh.

Meski berhasil dibuat sulit bernapas, saya bersyukur telah membaca novel ini. Karena saya dibawa ke kasus psikopat  (spoiler) meski dari cerita pihak kedua (korban). Gila. How damaging can some people be in someone’s life! Dan, meski melewati cerita yang dark semacam yang ditawarkan di novel ini, A. S. King selalu mengakhiri novelnya dengan harapan.

Bottom Line: Alert, this novel will break your heart but still, you should read it. The story in it will teach you to be kinder, to be openminded and teach you not to be Schadenfreude (find the meaning of it yourself) because everybody’s so full of shit.

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2 thoughts on “#124 Reality Boy

  1. Pingback: Mental Health Issues in Young Adult Novels | Faraziyya's Bookshelf

  2. Pingback: #178 Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future | Faraziyya's Bookshelf

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