The Loser's Guide to Life and Love: A Novel
by A. E. Cannon
Nov 20, 2008 | 5650 views | 2 2 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Title: The Loser's Guide to Life and Love: A Novel

Author: A. E. Cannon

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: YA Fiction

Year Published: 2008

Number of Pages: 272

Binding: Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0-06112-846-5

ISBN-13: 978-0-06112-846-2

Price: $16.99

Reviewed by Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury

This young adult book is a a lot of fun, partly because it reminds me so much of some of the columns written for the DESERET NEWS by its author, Ann Edwards Cannon, and partly because I recognized the story as a take-off on the crazy romantic quadrangle of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

The story is a lead-up to a midsummer night's party being held by the owner of Reel Life video rental store and employer of two of the main characters. It's told from the points of view of those two characters, plus that of the two others in the quadrangle, and the author gives all four of them their own, distinctive voices.

It's a story about how we can hurt each other by not being ourselves, and how hard young people have to struggle with the expectations they believe others have of them and their own failure to live up to those expectations.

When the characters realize that they are the ones who get to figure out who they really are and what they really want, and that they don't have to be as concerned by the expectations of others as they think they need to be, they are free to love themselves and to be loved.

And the quadrangle sorts itself out almost magically. :)

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA fiction, and to anyone who enjoys reinterpretations of Shakespeare. This was a delightful and well-done combination. .

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