Larkin Pace is 14 and hates it. He can't do any of the things that he would love to do because he is 14. Also, he has the most useless superpower. This superpower is retaining movie information. After he sees a movie, he can tell you everything about it. The only good thing about that is his friend Brooke can also recall corny movie lines. To go along with his superpower, Larkin wants to be a famous director. The only thing that is holding him back is getting a brand new camcorder, a really expensive one at that. His dad won't give him any money, probably because his dramatic sister gets everything that she wants, so he has to find the money in other ways. His mom helps him get a job helping an older woman around the house. This ends up being an awesome gig for him. He is treated really well, shares his love of movies with her, and gets a little money in the process. She also tries to give him advice on his girlfriend problem. Larkin thinks that Brooke is his girlfriend, but she is asking if he likes someone else. Does she like someone else? She seems to be paying attention to Dalton Cooke, Larkin's nemesis. Dalton plays pranks on everyone, and is a big jerk, but girls seem to be very attracted to him. With all of this going on, his English teacher is making him chronicle his life in a spiral-bound notebook.
I liked the mix between comic strips and narrative that went throughout the story, but other than that it was pretty cliché. He has the same issues that a lot of other people have without being that dynamic of a character. Usually when a young adult novel has the same coming of age issues, I am more interested because I have some connection with the character. It does not matter if it is a male character or not, Allen Zadoff usually has me hooked within the first couple of pages within either of his young adult novels. I was wondering if my lack of enthusiasm for the character was based on the partial graphic novel style of the book, but I found that I actually liked him the most in the short comic strips. The short strips are often the funniest part of the book. They are simple drawings, but always very melodramatic. I think that might be why I love them. The melodrama is part of the fun of a young adult novel. Anyways, this was a very quick read (unless you put it down for a few weeks, like I did), and would probably be handy for a reluctant reader. The mix between the graphics and narrative will draw in someone who doesn't think they like to read. It's always nice to give pictures to someone who is not into all of those words, plus the actual story is under 200 pages.