I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Cover image for I am a geniusTwelve-year-old Oliver Watson is a closet genius.  Everyone, including his parents, thinks he’s mentally deficient.   What they don’t realize is that he’s a certifiable genius, secretly running a fortune 500 company, and wealthy beyond belief.   An ingenious inventor, he has his home and school tricked out to make his life more bearable – for example, he’s rigged the water fountains at school to dispense root beer for him and he has a secret lair accessible from his bedroom where he runs his corporation.

Oliver tolerates his mother, but despises his father.  Oliver decides to run for class president in order to destroy his father’s faith in the elections system.  You see his dad was class president and sees it as the ultimate achievement.  Oliver’s goal is to prove his father’s accomplishment means nothing if he, Oliver the dim-wit, can win the election.  Oliver uses his considerable resources and underhanded tactics in his election campaign.

A cross between Artemis Fowl (also an evil boy genius) and The Gospel According to Larry (use of footnotes and sarcasm), I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President is a laugh our loud read.  You don’t know wether to root for Oliver to win or to be defeated.  I couldn’t put this book down and finished it in one sitting, a rarity these days for me.  Oh, and I’ve heard that the movie rights were purchased and the project is in development.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Category: Contemporary/Science-Fiction

Tags: fiction, science fiction, comedy, action, bullying, contemporary, politics

Additional Resources:

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Genius Website – website for the book

USAToday.com: “Josh Lieb of ‘Daily Show’ puts his wit to ‘Unspeakable Evil’” – article and video of the author reading from the book.

YouTube Video: “I AM A GENIUS OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL AND I WANT TO BE YOUR CLASS PRESIDENT, by Josh Lieb” – Book Trailer Created by June Henson

Wintergirls, LibraryThing, and book reviews

I recently created an account on LibraryThing to “catalog” what I am reading and/or what is on my TBR (too be read) shelf.  There are other virtual bookshelf programs out there, such as Shelfari, but I chose to use LibraryThing (probably because it has library in it’s name) for my blog.  I loved that I could add a widget from my LibraryThing catalog onto my blog (it’s over there on the left column!)

I’m planning on making book reviews a regular segment on the blog – depending upon if I actually can get any reading done, so don’t be surprised if the book reviews are few and far between – amazingly, over the last two months, I’ve actually been able to read a few YA novels so here goes the first one:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Eighteen year old Lia’s ex-best friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room of an apparent suicide.  The night she died, Cassie left 33 messages on Lia’s cell phone – calls Lia refused to take.  You see, Lia and Cassie haven’t been friends since Lia passed out behind the wheel and crashed into a guardrail.  The two girls had made a pact to be the skinniest girls in school – Cassie turned to binging and purging, while Lia starves herself, causing the blackout. Cassie was ordered to stay away from Lia and Cassie also doesn’t want her own eating problem to be discovered so she severs all ties to Lia. At least she did until Cassie’s death and the 33 voicemails.  Now Lia is back under the microscope, making it harder to hide that her two stints in rehab at New Season’s didn’t take.  Wintergirls is a powerful look into the mind of a teenager struggling with body/self-image and the damage anorexia takes not only on the body but on the spirit and on ones family and friends.  This is definitely a must read that I’ll be highly recommending.

Rating: 5 Stars

Category: contemporary fiction

Tags: anorexia, contemporary, fiction, self-image, rehab, YAlit, suicide, eating-disorders

Additional Resources:

Wintergirls website – read an exerpt, download the teacher’s guide, additional resources on eating disorders

Laurie Halse Anderson – the official web site for Laurie Halse Anderson

Penguin.com – watch a booktrailer and an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson

Amazon.com – read reviews and watch an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson

National Eating Disorders Association – a place to find information and support about eating disorders