Friday, December 05, 2008
Life After Genius
M. Ann Jacoby
Theodore "I prefer Mead" Fegley hasn't had the best of childhoods. Taunted by his classmates for his genius (he's skipped a few grades), his name (how do you like the floor, Theodore?) and the family business (his dad is the undertaker), and hounded by his mother, Mead is happy to escape to college at the young age of 15. However, the week before graduation, he escapes college and heads back home. Why did Mead walk away from college?
Life After Genius bounces back and forth between the past and the present in an attempt to answer this question. While the story was enjoyable, the characters were too stereotypical for my taste. Teddy/Mead is the harassed smart kid, always dressed in khakis and button-up shirts. His cousin Percy is the popular jock, beloved by all. Teddy's mom is the domineering mother consumed with image. Herman, Mead's college nemesis, is the uber-rich trust fund kid. Dr. Alexander, Mead's college advisor, the nutty professor. There are a few more, but you get the picture.
As we move back and forth in time Teddy's story unfolds, and his years in college turn out to be not all that different from his childhood. Additionally, now that he's home, he seems to be hallucinating, as people keep popping up in his bedroom to offer advice. By the time I got to the end of the book I wasn't entirely sure that Teddy was sane. In fact, for awhile I was doubtful that the ending scene wasn't a hallucination. And let me just say, I hated the end.
Having said all that, I didn't not like the book...I just had a few issues with it. I have read plenty of positive reviews of this book, though. For example, bethany really liked it (plus she hosted the contest in which I won my copy of the book...thanks!).
Who else has read this one? What did you think of the ending?