Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plot Summary:

Darren is ambivalent about a lot of things, but he does have one serious ambition: to write a series of comics/novels that will turn into a hit movie. Although Darren spends a lot of his "doodling" between note taking and in his free time,  he hasn't really taken this dream seriously until he met Eric. To some of his classmates, Eric is seen as a weirdo and, unfortunately, has been compared to a potential school shooter. Why would anyone say this about him? Darren hasn't a clue. However, Eric and Darren develop a solid friendship based on their passion for comics and that Eric has faith in Darren's stories. When most teens are out at parties, causing trouble, or doing "teen" things, Darren and Eric dedicate their time to make Darren's Dr. Praetoreous adventures a lucrative success before they graduate. When Darren is approached by a girl named Cecilia Martin, who is a bit of a freak herself, she tells him to be careful around Eric. Although Cecilia has no right to tell Darren that Eric is weird, he starts to wonder why she would say that. One night,  Darren's idiot brother confesses to Darren that he and his friend, Alan, actually spotted Eric walking down the street at 3 a.m. and decided to beat him up. Outraged, and upset at Eric for not telling him, Darren and Eric decide to repay the favor by egging Alan's house. Unfortunately, that plan didn't doesn't work out and sends the both of them running through the streets on Halloween night. When they make it to Eric's house, Darren’s world is totally turned upside down when Eric makes a startling confession as to why he is the way he is. Moreover, Darren starts to realize the reason behind Eric's brilliance and just how awesome it is to have a friend like him. Unfortunately, things take an awkward turn when Darren meets Christine, which creates a whole new set of problems that could threaten his friendship with Eric.  On the other hand, girls are the least of this problem because if the world finds out Eric's "thing," the two of them have to a quick decision: fight or flight.

Critical Evaluation:

This story is absolutely h-y-s-t-e-r-i-c-a-l!! As a fellow nerd, and lover of "draw-ers," I absolutely loved the dialogue and ideas that Eric and Darren come up with. Moreover, the dynamic between the two of them resemble the classic superhero duo where one is the brains and the other the brawn. Although Darren and Eric are like day and night, they share quite a few similarities that make this partnership almost enviable. Given the fact that Eric, right off the bat, is able to trust Darren with his secret, Darren's willingness to keep this secret is extraordinary. Teenagers, in many ways, have a hard time adjusting to things that are very different. It's not that it’s a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being totally unprepared to deal with situations that is above their capabilities. For Darren, despite having Eric prove that he is what he is, he is able to move past his doubts and take a chance on his friend. Deciphering truth and lies is not only hard for adults, but knowing that two teens can put absolute faith in each other is a feat in itself. Another great aspect of this story is the illustrations. I just loved seeing a representation of each character especially the Tilnar soldier and Tilnar vulture. Despite all the glorious geekdom, this novel does a beautiful job of conveying the ups and downs of adolescence where two teens discover the power of friendship, betrayal, adventure, and success.

Information about the Author:
According to his book, DC Pierson was born in raised in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2007, he graduated from New York University and earned a degree in television writing. He is currently belongs to a comedy group DERRICK and they made a film called Mystery Team. He currently publishes short stories and blogs daily on his Tumblr and personal website. The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To is his first novel.


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 12 & up

Books Similar to The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To:

Awards & Recognition:

Review Quotes:

"Funny as hell. . . . The ribald humor of a Judd Apatow movie married to a science-fiction-fantasy spectacle."--"Kirkus "

"A witty coming-of-age novel. . . . In Darren and Eric, Pierson has created two engaging and memorable co-conspirators and co-protagonists."--"Booklist"

"Charmingly honest and honestly funny. Nails what it's like to be a geeky teenage male, right down to the Agtranian Berserkers." --Max Barry, author of "Company"

"In a smart, funny and endlessly imaginative debut, the voluminously talented DC Pierson shows keen insight into the rocky emotional terrain of adolescence and the nuances of geek culture. Pierson has a sharp eye for the way teenagers think, talk and behave. The scope and depth of the novel's ambition don't become apparent until a riveting final third that radically reinvents the narrative as a sly, Unbreakable-style exercise in genre deconstruction. Pierson has written a trenchant, briskly readable and ultimately sad novel about the greatest, most fantastical and mind-bending adventure of all: growing up."--Nathan Rabin, Head Writer, "The A.V. Club", author, "The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought To You By Pop Culture"

"Awesome stuff: great jokes, shocking twists, cyborgs. There's even some sex. It's fast-paced and funny and you should definitely check it out."--Simon Rich, author of "Free-Range Chickens" 

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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