A book written in the first person narrative style indicates that the story is being told by one of the characters in the book. In most such stories, readers know that the author is telling the story by voicing the characters thoughts. CHARACTER, DRIVEN by David Lubar had me feeling differently. Cliff tells the story, and I had a definite feeling that Cliff frequently surprised author David Lubar with the direction of his thoughts. This novel feels as if it was literally "character driven."
Maybe I'm wrong about what I wrote in the paragraph above, but having given writing assignments to my high school students encouraging them to let the character take over, and having experienced the phenomenon when working on my own writing, I have to wonder if Lubar felt pulled through this story by Cliff himself.
Cliff is seventeen and will be graduating soon. He is not part of the cool crowd, in fact, he is the polar opposite. Cliff admits being told by a girl, "You're not a bad guy, But you're just so far from cool in every way, I can't get sucked into anything social with you. I would never wash it off."
His plans for the future are sketchy at best. His father has made it perfectly clear that upon turning eighteen, Cliff will be on his own. Not a surprise considering it's been years since Cliff has done anything that has pleased his old man. Cliff's only champion during what he frequently refers to as his "deformative years," has been his mother.
Most of Cliff's efforts revolve around trying to keep the peace at home and find a girl friend. He has dreams of dating the new girl, Jillian. He worships her from afar. They share two classes together, and every day he hopes to make contact. When he isn't pining after Jillian, he is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.Fans are sure to be pleased by this new release. CHARACTER, DRIVEN the teenage male perspective in stark, sarcastic frankness. Lubar presents high school life in the same humorous, ironic tone as he did in SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE.
Previously posted at readingjunky.blogspot.com