It is only fitting that this post has a song in it. The Scar Boys is about a band and there's a lot of music in it. It is more than that, though. This is one moving, terrific book. I read somewhere that this has been compared to Wonder, as kind of the teen version of Wonder. I would have to say that as far as quality goes, it definitely is as powerful and one-of-a-kind as Wonder. But I don't get the sense that this was a "jump on the bandwagon of the success of Wonder" book. Not at all. Harry tells his own story here. Literally. He is writing a college entrance essay to the University of Scranton, which, I am embarrassed to say, I never knew was around, and now I find that it is a Jesuit school! Those Jesuits are very smart, indeed! I have mentioned America magazine before, haven't I?
Harry was tied to a tree by bullies when he was about eight years old. The tree was struck by lightening and so he was horribly burned. Can you even imagine that kind of pain. It is beyond description, I am sure. Harry's life after the burning is pretty much as you would expect it, given the human condition. Horrible bullying, isolation from peers, pain. But then he meets Johnny. Johnny is a popular kid and for one reason or another he befriends Harry. They start a band and the Harry comes up with the name Scar Boys. This book is another one of those Music is My Life books, but not in a cheesy way. It isn't just an excuse for the author to name drop and mention all of the bands that he or she loves. I still really don't have any clue about punk music, but I wish that I did. I've heard of the Dead Milkmen, but I don't know what they sound like. I've heard of the Ramones, but I only know (and do like) the song I Wanna Be Sedated.
The ending is really, really good and I didn't see it coming at all. Harry is a very real and likable character and I have already recommended this to many!
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.