November 3, 2015
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon
Arthur Bean writes through life's ups and downs in this humorous and heartfelt tale
Arthur believes that he is destined to become a famously rich novelist. The first step in his journey to literary greatness will be winning the school writing contest, which will also (hopefully) distract him from the untimely death of his mother. Unfortunately, Arthur can't come up with a good story, unlike his beautiful writing partner Kennedy, who he's sure will ditch her popular boyfriend and fall in love with him sometime soon. Even Robbie Zack, Arthur's nemesis, has an idea! As the competition draws closer, and as his father drifts further and further away, how far with Arthur go to win?
Have you read a book where you loved reading about the main character, but knew if they were someone in real life you would like them significantly less? That's who Arthur Bean was for me.
If he was someone I went to school with (and he did, actually, remind me of a few boys I did go to school with) or otherwise interacted with, I don't think I would have put up with him. He is incredibly self assured - to the point of arrogance and even cockiness. While it is annoying, at times, I did not want to fault him for it. Maybe he could have been humbled, but for where (and when) he was in life, it worked for him.
The sudden death of Arthur's mother and its aftermath was brought into the story in unexpected and very well done ways. Just as you would start to think of Arthur as a know-it-all, he would say something that made you realise just how much he was still grieving. We get glimpses into how his life with his father has been altered, how they're both different from before. Arthur's pain, grief and questions on how live this new life without his mother are worked in really well. It is there but thanks to Arthur's humor and exploits, the book doesn't feel heavy.
You get a thoughtful story without, at first, realising it.
I did, when I first finished the book, wish we had seen a bit more growth, or growing up, from Arthur. After a bit of reflection, however, I am glad that we did not see any more than we did. He is still in middle school, still has a lot to figure out and time to do it; who he was at the end of the book fit well with his age.
digital review copy received, thanks to publisher, via NetGalley
Praise for A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius:
“[A] humorous coming-of-age novel.” –Publishers Weekly
“Arthur, like Sedaris, is at essence, a self-dramatizing memoirist with a subversive sensibility, viperous yet vulnerable, sharp-witted with a magnet eye for the ridiculous. His writings and personality also bring to mind Jeff Kinney’s hilarious mini-Machiavellian schemer and pretension-piercing fellow diarist, Greg Heffley.” –The Vancouver Sun
“Arthur is a sweet funny character and it is a lot of fun to join him on his journey through the ups and downs of junior high.” –Shelf-Talkers
About the Author:
Stacey Matson has worked in a theatre program on Parliament Hill and written theatre pieces for the Glenbow Museum and for the All-Nations Theatre in Calgary. She earned her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia. A debut novelist, Stacey lives in Vancouver, BC. Visit Stacey at staceymatson.com.
-runs through November 30th
-US & Can only
a Rafflecopter giveaway