Thursday, January 7, 2010

Losers by Matthue Roth

This YA novel about Jupiter Glazer, a Jewish Russian immigrant living in the worst part of Philly, is at once intelligent and lovable. Who doesn't love a good book about a loser?

Surprisingly, Jupiter does not stay a loser for long. In fact, for a book entitled Losers, you'd expect its protag to be a loser for more than his first day of high school. But after one big party, Jupiter is suddenly popular. Or, at least, tolerated by the popular crowd.

Roth has a distinct voice that at first sets this book apart from so many similar YA books. But, its charm was lost on me by the end. This book left me scratching my head for one minute, and ultimately forgetting about it the next. (Which is why it's taken me a week to post this review) There is a hint of a stellar unifying theme towards the end, but it feels like a foretaste of something that never fully reveals itself. There is a disappointing overall lack of depth.

Is Losers worth reading? Sure, it has some clever one-liners. It's interesting. You won't regret reading it. But it won't take your breath away.

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