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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
The perfect existence is to be surrounded by totally "hot" girls and to have pay TV at your finger tips. Or so thinks Justin Taggart's best friend, Adam. Although he agrees with the need for pay channels (to the point of engaging in slightly illegal exploits to obtain it), Justin can only focus on one unobtainable girl. To enrich his high school experience and offset his rather frustrating football career, Justin enrolls in journalism class to learn how to write a journal. Imagine his surprise when the true purpose of the course is revealed! He perseveres, though, and actually enjoys his time there. Justin's journal entrees reveal a side of today's teenage boy that the public does not always see. Justin struggles with right and wrong choices and refers to his faith in God who controls his destiny.
"Narrative Loserdom:(From Journal One)" is a wonderful addition to a sorely lacking market of books for boys. As a middle school reading teacher, I am always on the look out for suitable literature for my class library. Ryan Collins has written a volume that I would proudly include in my collection. I laughed; I reminisced; I fell in love with Justin Taggart. He's all boy, but with an unusual sensitivity that is often not attributed to teenage boys. Justin is caught in a quandary of knowing what is right, but engaging in ordinary exploits that verge on being illegal. Ryan Collins markets this story as "Journal One", and I hope that indicates future installments in Justin Taggart's life.