The Bookshelf, A Teen Review: The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love by A.E. Cannon

Courtney Bowers

Ed McIff is your typical teenage dork, a guy who never knows what to say to girls and wears a tuxedo and bow tie to his job at Reel Life Movies. According to Ed, no one of the opposite sex could ever be remotely interested in a loser like him. What Ed doesn’t know is that his best friend and coworker, Scout, has had a crush on him for ages. Ed has never even considered the idea of Scout being interested in him; she is just one of the boys in his mind.

One evening, a gorgeous girl named Ellie walks into the rental store. Ed knows that in the real world, he has a zero percent chance of her even giving him a second glance. But perhaps if he was someone else, she would. He realizes his old nametag still says Sergio, a former employ. His boss has never bothered making him a new one. In that instant, Ed transforms himself into Sergio, a suave Brazilian who speaks fluent English and Portuguese, goes on adventures all over the world, and can charm any girl he wants. Surprisingly, Ellie actually seems to fall for this scheme.

Meanwhile, Ed’s friend Quark, a nerdy super genius who is actually quite attractive, has fallen head over heals for Scout. At first, Ed doesn’t really mind. He’s shocked that Quark has stopped studying long enough to notice a female, but he’s much too busy trying to learn Portuguese and Brazilian culture in order to impress Ellie. He promises to help Quark obtain his dream girl. But with all this talk about Scout, Ed starts to have strange romantic feelings towards his best friend, with whom he can just be Ed, not “Sergio.”

As you can guess, love triangles begin to ensue as Ed falls for both Ellie and Scout, leaving Quark out in the cold. Now Ed must end his charade and romance with Ellie if he ever wants to salvage any friendships he has left. At a midsummer party, Ed must make his decision, as all the characters fall in and out of love in one magical night.

The novel is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, where star-crossed lovers all fall in love with the wrong person. While the idea of this sounds fresh and funny, the result is a typical teenage love story, where everyone ends up with the person who has been there all along. The characters are amusing, and completely inept at flirting or communicating their true feelings, but the “Sergio” alter ego is a bit too obvious. Readers looking for a short, silly read may be entertained, but those looking for a story with depth should probably skip over this predictable novel.

Have you read “The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love?” Discuss your thoughts on the book below.

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