Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Freak Magnet, by Andrew Auseon

Charlie is a definite freak. He says whatever comes to his mind (often with hillarious results) and gets worse when he's nervous. Gloria is a self-described "freak magnet," who somehow attracts the attention of every strange guy she meets. Their initial disastrous encounter is no surprise. What is a surprise is how well they eventually hit it off, discovering kindred feelings driven by similar hardships and dreams.

The result is a charmingly off-beat romance. It can get a bit weird at times (the narrative is terribly random), but Charlie and Gloria are endearing. While Charlie's flaws are immediately apparent, Gloria's take some time to reveal themselves. Their self-absorption is both realistic and dramatically interesting. And you'll find yourself liking them in spite of it all.

If you like a tight tied-up ending, this one's loose ends will drive you nuts, but it drives home the message that the ending is really not the point -- it's the trip we take to get there.

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