Synopses & Reviews
“The shrinkadinks think I have a screw loose. Aint playing with a full deck. Whacked-out wiring. Missing marbles.” Irreverent, foulmouthed seventeen-year-old Cricket is the oldest ward in a Catholic boys home in Maine—and his life sucks. With prospects for the future that range from professional fighter to professional drug dealer, he seems doomed to a life of “criminal rapscallinity.” In fact, things look so bleak that Cricket cant help but wonder if his best option is one final cliff dive into the great unknown. But then Wynona Bidaban steps into his world, and Cricket slowly realizes that maybe, just maybe, life doesnt totally suck.
“I’m lazy and I’m a coward but I’ll do pretty much anything if a girl is watching.” With that opening line Rubens (Sons of the 613) introduces goodhearted screw up Austin Methune who is in danger of failing 12th grade if he doesn’t pass summer school but is otherwise occupied thinking about girls weed music and his mother’s stuffy lawyer boyfriend Rick. Further complicating Austin’s life are Josephine the math tutor he’s hopelessly (in all senses of the word) in love with and the alcoholic rock star father he didn’t know existed who is trying to make a comeback both musically and with Austin’s mother. Austin has musical talent too but is terrified of success. Rubens has a great handle on Austin’s quick witted self deprecating voice as he recounts one disaster after another whether it’s destroying Rick’s 4000 mandolin or falling down a hill on a commercial grade lawn mower while trying to pay Rick back for said mandolin. Funny and painful it’s a sharply etched portrait of fallible human beings living loving screwing up and making do—and a fine look at the Twin Cities music scene. Ages 14–up. Agent: John Silbersack Trident Media Group.(Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"A profane, profound debut. . . . One of the most wrenching and engaging young-adult books to come along in ages."—The Wall Street Journal
"This is a truly original work, and fans of Sherman Alexie may find a new favorite in Blagden."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Dear story, you rock. . . . All readers will appreciate Cricket's complex, lovable character and the strong adults who nourish it."
"Through Cricket, Blagden offers a fine masculine viewpoint that expresses the intensity of grief."
"Readers who like male protagonists and gritty, contemporary settings will enjoy this carefully crafted novel."
—VOYA, 3Q 3P J S
"Cricket conveys his damage through a wildly inventive voice; his often profound philosophies and speculations about life, parents, art, sex, and God are couched in energetic (and sometimes shockingly profane) imagery that turn ordinary language into the verbal equivalent of a Chihuly glass sculpture--colorful, twisted, brittle, and arresting."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Holden Caulfield, meet 2013. With his irreverent, hilarious, and heartbreaking first novel, one thing is clear: Scott Blagden is the real thing."
"Dear Life, You Suck will certainly offend a few and delight thousands. Profane, sacrilegious, and defiant, this debut novels crackles with energy. It has depth and human significance, by which I mean the real stuff of real life."
"Cricket Cherpin is profane, funny, hard, vulnerable, kind, angry. In other words, he's as complex and as unique as you or me. His unusual and realistic voice will grab you from the first page and stay with you long after the last one."
—Francisco X. Stork
"Dear Cricket, you rock!"
In this emotionally powerful, funny debut, Cricket Cherpin needs to figure out what to do with his life before he turns eighteen. But life sucks--so why not just give up?
Austin, 16, a self-described screwup, finds out that his father isn’t dead. He’s alive, and moreover he’s Shane Tyler, a famous singer/guitarist/song writer—Austin’s dream for himself. But Shane is battling his own demons, and Austin must figure out how to grow up on his own terms.
About the Author
Michael Rubens was a producer for several years for the award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writing and directing field pieces with Stephen Colbert, among others. Michael has also been a host, writer, and producer of several programs on the Travel Channel, and has written and produced for CNN, Oxygen, and other networks. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.