Review: ‘My Disjointed Life’ by Martin Reed

Jeep Trembley is a freshman who took off a couple of years after high school before starting college. He’s extremely self-deprecating, his conscience is constantly deriding him, he was a big loser in high school and he apparently has huge (no pun intended) issues trying to control the “visual result” of his almost non-stop lustful inner monologue. Quite the, uh, package, eh?

A runner, Jeep always meets up with Gage at the track and tries to race him. Though he runs his absolute fastest, Gage always seems to beat him with ease. Jeep’s also smart., which means he has rivals off of the track as well. He has a huge crush on Melody, a gorgeous girl that he has been asked to tutor. How can he concentrate on studying when some of his body parts won’t let him?

Then the unexplainable happens. Jeep hooks up with a hot girl named April (perpetual virgin status denied!). Then the god-like star of the college football team tells him that he needs to try out for the team because he runs so fast and would be a great receiver. So he does, hoping to get Melody’s attention. Or is it April’s?

When everything starts to fall apart, who can Jeep trust to tell him the truth?

There is so much happening in this book. Jeep’s father left when he was young. His oldest brother died. His mom dies. His remaining older brother took care of him. He can run really fast. He’s a virgin. He’s really smart. He has an odd name. He was a loser in high school. He has academic rivals in college. He is sought out to play receiver for the college football team. His diet consists of candy, porn and wanking. He thinks about his peen A LOT. As well as breasts (not his). Normally, when there is so much going on in a story, it gets overwhelming. In this case, though, many of these topics were barely touched other than a mention, so the opposite happened: there wasn’t enough whelming. These places were where the depth to Jeep should have come from, but didn’t.

The theme of this book is how to stand up and be your own man, which we discover nearish the end. Jeep learns from some cryptic conversations with Chase, the football star, that no one should tell him what to do, etc. Jeep is supposed to be this huge loser. I couldn’t picture him that way at all. He’s apparently handsome enough, since the girls all talk to him. He’s smart enough, since he’s got some rivals in class. He can run super fast, so he has to be in good shape. And, when he finds out who is behind his sudden inclusion on the football team, uh, OK? Since the coach knows nothing about it, and Jeep had to try out, so what? The anger Jeep works up after some things are revealed to him seems very out of place. Not that he shouldn’t be upset how it happened, but it was surprising that he cared so much. He showed more emotion over smashing his computer hard drive than anything else.

Look, college is the great equalizer. All that crap that happens in high school is left in your home town. Yes, you can reinvent yourself. There are more nerds, weirdos, jocks, goths and people who experiment with all categories that the categories don’t matter any more. People actually speak in class without repercussions. This is not to say that the jerks from high school turned angelic over the summer and everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya, but differences are way more accepted in college. This story just felt like a high school tale in a college setting. It may have made more sense set in high school instead, actually.

For the most part, the book was somewhat engaging, but there was zero depth to the characters. As said before, there were a lot of opportunities to have depth, especially with some of the subject matter, but it was not there. There is some odd person named Tate whose purpose in the story is unclear. Comic relief? Then the ending…it seemed completely out of character. Though I can live with unfulfilling, this was beyond that. Mean, really. And toward the end, where the self-evaluation and deep thoughts start, there are a couple of of paragraphs that are going for the profound, but miss the mark. Considering the tone in the rest of the book, they not only were in the wrong novel, they didn’t make much sense, either.

Her once lively eyes, now departed from innocence, appear languid, lost within a vessel of darkness, as if desperate for some form of rescue.

and

For that split second our eyes meet, a million allocations of thoughts brush throughout the car, giving birth to a certain convoluted life.

Jeep needs to return his thoughts to porn.

2.5 of 5 Stars (Based on Ink and Page’s Rating System)

Genres: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary
Ages: 14 and up
You might want to know: Sex and frank sexual discussion. Profanity, underage drinking and drug use.

My Disjointed Life by Martin Reed was published June 13, 2012 by Martin Reed. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review.

Other Reviews:
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