A Year in the Life of A Complete and Total Genius

A Year in the Life of A Complete and Total Genius

Book - 2015
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Seventh-grader Arthur Bean, soon-to-be a rich and famous author, has set two goals for himself: to win the school writing contest and to win the heart of his secret crush, Kennedy, but his life has had some major twists and turns lately, and the recent loss of his mother definitely complicates things.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois :, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky,, [2015]
ISBN: 9781492620747
1492620742
Branch Call Number: YA MATS
Characteristics: 267 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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mmcbeth29
Oct 14, 2015

SUMMARY: "Arthur Bean is a genius. It’s just that no one else realizes this quite yet." Arthur hopes to make it big by winning this year's writing contest. But too many problems get in his way. He make some poor choices that land him in trouble. But by the end of the school year, he has learned a thing or two and maybe even made a new friend.
This book is written completely in the form of letters, emails, school assignments, and journal entries.

THE GOOD: By using the writing formats instead of a typical novel there is added interest to the book. There is lots of humor throughout the book and Arthur learns to look at people differently by getting to know them better instead of just judging them based on what he sees on the surface. Arthur is going through some tough stuff and makes poor choices because of it, but his writing helps him to process these hardships and helps him feel better about things.
THE NOT AS GOOD: When I started reading the book, I really liked the format with the journal entries, notes, emails, etc., but the addition of the regular teacher's assignments began to bog down the story. I felt the book would have been better off without the assignments (in very full detail) or with fewer ones. They lend too much seriousness to the story and slows it down. By the end of the book I did not feel I really knew Arthur deep down as much as I would have liked. He's very sarcastic, he plagiarizes, he likes one girl in particular, but who is he really? This book is from his perspective about himself and he thinks he's pretty awesome.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Grades 5-8

NOTE: I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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