Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature by Sashi Kaufman


Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature by Sashi Kaufman

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BEA16; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryBen Wireman is partially deaf and completely insecure. The only two things that make him feel normal are being a soccer goalie and hanging out with his best friend, Tyler. 

Tyler Nuson is the golden boy, worshiped by girls and guys alike. But Tyler’s golden facade is cracking, and the dark secrets hidden behind it are oozing to the surface. Ben has no idea what to do when Tyler’s memories of their past start poisoning everything, including their friendship.

Enter Ilona Pierce. With tattoos, blue hair, and almost no friends, she’s exactly the kind of weirdo Ben has tried to avoid his entire life. But without Tyler, Ben isn’t sure who he is anymore, and maybe, just maybe, hanging out with a freak is what he needs.

Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature is a captivating and compelling story about the shifting dynamics between two best friends during their senior year in high school, as their loyalty to each other is tested by betrayal, secrets, girls, and the complex art of growing up.
 


ReviewWired Man and Other Freaks of Nature was a book that I came across when researching what books would be at BEA16. It sounded like one I'd really enjoy, so I was excited when the publishing company were giving out ARCs on the second day. This is one of those coming-of-age books that I feel like contemporary lovers would really enjoy, even if you can't relate to every aspect of the book. Despite the specifics, this book is truly about growing up, becoming the person you want to be, falling in love, and dealing with the changing nature of friendships.

Specifically, this book is about Ben Wireman who has partially deaf and therefore must always wear hearing aids. He hates this about himself and his very self-conscious, using his longer hair to hide them. His best friend is Tyler Nuson, who everybody loves. He's just a nice guy, no matter who you are, but Ben tends to live his life in Tyler's shadow. He doesn't entirely hate this though, as he truly does love Tyler - in a best friend way. The two have been friends for years and they always have each other's back. Except this year, their senior year, Tyler isn't acting the same. He's getting mad at their soccer coach, spending more time around one girl than he normally does, and not talking to Ben.

As the year progresses, Ben meets Ilona Pierce in a class and is partnered up with her on a project. He hates this idea at first, but soon grows to like Ilona and her carefree attitude. I wasn't sure about Ilona at first either, but she grows on you. I didn't like how she treated her mom, but I could understand some of why she did what she did. Plus, she's all about being okay with yourself and she tries to instill that in Ben. 

All three of these characters' lives become intertwined as the year goes on. Ben discovers more about Tyler, secrets come out, and Ilona finds herself helping two boys discover who they really and truly are - despite disabilities and past hurts. It's a good read, though a bit slow in parts. Regardless, I kind of wished I could know these people in real life and just hang out with them. It felt real, and I always appreciate that in a contemporary novel.

Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature comes out tomorrow!

12 comments:

A Canadian Girl said...

I'm always up for a good contemporary and I like that this one features a character with a disability.

Melliane said...

It's a new one to me but it looks interesting and something different to read too

Tracy Terry said...

A book that probably intrigues me a bit more than it appeals to me. Maybe a book I'd pick up if I were to see it in the library but I'm not excited enough about it that I'd want to purchase a copy.

Kindlemom said...

I have a spot soft for coming of age stories so I can appreciate everything you said about this. Glad it was such a good one!

Emily Alfano said...

This sounds really good actually! Thanks for sharing a review right before release day! Even though I saw a lot of blogger's hauls from BEA, this was not one of the ones I saw a lot of people grabbing and this is the first time I've heard of it, so thanks for introducing me to a new book!
Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I have been looking for more diversity in YA books. I also love coming of age books. This one sounds good and I haven't heard of it! Thanks so much for putting it on my radar.

Erika Sorocco said...

This is one I'm really dying to read now because I've always been intrigued by books that feature a character with a disability - especially deafness as I'm super interested in sign language!

xx

Midnight Cowgirl said...

This sounds really interesting!

Adriana Garcia said...

I'm kind of in love with everything about this book. Ben's insecurities of his hearing aid makes e like him already. I really want to know what is happening with Tyler - I'm so worried! I'm also curious about Ilona and what part she will play in this story. You've convinced me!

Kristin @ Addicted to HEA said...

I didn't see this at BEA! It sounds fabulous and a great addition to any YA collection. I adore that time in life b/c kids can pretty much be whatever they want and it's interesting to see/read what they do with what they have. Now I'm getting all deep and junk... Great review!!!!

Karen Alderman said...

I've been reading a lot of YA like this this summer and I'm really enjoying it. Sounds like another one to add to my TBR pile

Karen @For What It's Worth

Jennifer Humphries said...

I like the premise of this book and my teen really likes books like this. Those coming of age stores can be so empowering and make you feel like less of a "freak".