Saturday, October 17, 2009

Enchanting Review: I Am A Genius Of Unspeakable Evil and I Want To Be Your Class President

YA Humor
ISBN# 978-1-59514-240-5
304 pages
$15.99 ($20.00 CAN)
eBook/Print - Available 10/15/09

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Oliver Watson lives in Omaha Nebraska and he is both an eight grader and a criminal mastermind who runs a vast organization dedicated to the humiliation and punishment of those he feels have wronged him.

Tatiana Lopez is known by Oliver as the meanest girl in school. Oliver seems to have a bit of a crush on Tatiana.

The entire story is told by Oliver so sometimes events may be distorted by what Oliver would like to present. Oliver is nominated for class president by Tatiana and at first he declines, but later changes his mind when he claims he sees an opportunity to annoy or diminish his dad by running and doing easily what his dad worked hard for as a student. Oliver manipulates, threatens and bribes his way to an unopposed election. His dad expresses his pity that poor Oliver won’t know the success of truly running and winning an election. Oliver decides to manipulate a little more and sponsors a ‘rival’ through more bribery, manipulation and threats. He hires a campaign manager for his rival through his criminal organization. This is to ensure his final victory. Things don’t go quite the way Oliver plans due to the his mother and his campaign volunteers led by Tatiana.

This book is great. I really enjoyed the scenes where Oliver acts as though Randy, his fellow student and rival for class president, scares or hurts him. Each time Randy tries to console or help Oliver, Oliver acts as if Randy is threatening him or hitting him, or demanding his money. Oliver takes great pride in being an evil genius. In his efforts to be President, Oliver never truly plans what he will do if he actually wins the election. I like how the author shows the inconsistencies in Oliver’s story about himself. Oliver claims that he does everything completely legally and then goes on to describe incidents like having paid henchmen use blow darts to inject drugs into unsuspecting bullies. This is definitely illegal even if it allows Oliver to take revenge on the bully.

This is Josh Lieb’s debut novel. Josh Lieb is the Emmy-winning producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He worked on The Simpsons and Newsradio.

Kathy Johnson
July 2009

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