Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Galgorithm, by Aaron Karo
Billed as a book for John Green fans, Karo has some of the funny attitude of Green, but lacks the insight and the depth of that author. The story moves briskly, but Karo is entirely too self-conscious about the potentially offensive nature of his material and refuses to play it for full comedic effect. And rather than run with it (and apologize later), he bends over backwards to show that Shane is really a Good Guy. That he may be, but it makes him look like a bit of a wuss (as Shane himself notes, you should never run around and apologize all the time -- perhaps Karo should have taken his character's advice?). There's a lot of romantic tension between Shane and Jak, but you kind of expect them to work through it at the end so you don't hold your breath a lot. And the teachers are pretty dopey for what tries hard to be a smart comedy (hint: awkward teachers are not funny!). In the end, the story couldn't really ever get serious enough to talk about what makes relationships work and it refused to go over the top and make the whole thing funny.