I've just finished reading King Dork by Frank Porter, and I'm a little mystified on how to comment on it. It's YA, it's about a guy who believes (probably correctly) that he is the biggest dork in his school, and the novel is about a couple of months in his life. He and his friend are in a band, although neither of them can really play the guitar and it takes them a while to find a drummer, but he can't count beyond 3. The dork has a very weird mother and a hippie-like stepfather, he obsesses about a girl he groped and kissed in the dark at a party (first time ever), and also obsesses about his father's death and reads his dad's old books from high school to try and find out more about him. Towards the end, he also tries to find out how his dad really died.
That's about it really.
I was trying to describe it to my friend, G, and saying that it was quite a long book but nothing really happened. She said, "Do you mean the dramatic story arc just stayed low (imagine her hand in a very gentle upwards slope) instead of having that big rise in tension and drama that we're used to (hand veers sharply upwards)?"
Um, yes. I did keep reading it to the end, but it was an effort. Then I started wondering who the intended reader is. Some girls might like it, and feel sorry for the main character. In trying to work out what kind of young male reader might like it, I came up with either: 1) guys who think they, too, are dorks and identify with the character and story, 2) guys who like music and the whole wanting-to-be-in-a-band plotline, or 3) guys who like reading (there are quite a few) and like the characters anyway.
I don't think I'm the intended reader - not just because I'm not a teenager, but because I do like stories with bigger dramatic plot and character arcs. I find them more interesting and satisfying. I'm going to keep a look out for reviews on this book, especially those written by teen readers. Or if you've read it, please do post a comment.
I've moved on to the new Lee Child. Jack Reacher rules!