Hi everyone! I hope you’re well ❤ A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the author Philip Lister who kindly offered me a free copy of his book, The Life Of Randy (book 1: Theme Park), in exchange for an honest review! I was intrigued by the blurb he provided so I agreed. Before I get into this I just want to say that I have been nervous to post this review and speak my mind on it as this is not the type of book I would normally select for myself but being book crazy as I am I decided to give it a go!
This is a spoiler free review. I will outline the story when giving my opinion but try my best to steer clear of full detail.
When Randy and his step dad fight on moving day his family moved away and abandons him. Now he has to face life and his bullies head on. Follow him as he embarks on a coming of age journey where anything goes.
Living with best friend Ana that he has fancied for years is, well interesting, especially when her boyfriend Mark lives there too. With stolen glances added to the mix it makes for an explosive cocktail.
He moves out and meets Clara and thinks it could be love at first sight, but when Ana comes knocking at his door, will he give into temptation?
After receiving some life-changing news he is overcome by his emotions. On a path of self destruction he wants one thing, retribution against his tormentors, but in his escalating rage just how far will he go?
I had mixed emotions whilst reading this book which is a good thing because I didn’t want to write a completely negative review without any constructive feedback, so when it started to pick up at the end I was pleased yet still disappointed that it hadn’t happened earlier on. It was incredibly difficult to decipher a plot despite there being one outlined in the blurb. In hindsight the blurb gave a lot of the story away and I knew what was coming because of it. In my opinion there weren’t really any surprises as I predicted the life changing news (maybe I just have an overactive imagination 😂).
I didn’t find any of the characters relatable which was rare for me with any book. Usually even if I don’t enjoy a book I can at least seek solace in a character to keep me going but they all seemed distant and lacking in depth. Even Randy, whose point of view it is all told through came across as disconnected and not fully there. His emotions were more so a series of thoughts. He was self absorbed and came across as desperate not seeming to want for anything more or to be working towards bettering himself.
Throughout the book he stayed in the same place with the same mindset until at the very end when he made a small action that sparked a major difference in his life that he hadn’t mentioned he had needed to make beforehand. Previously there had been no outright build up to this moment and I wish there had of been a way of incorporating it into the story earlier on as then I might have connected with why Randy is the way he is.
It felt like he was a bunch of words in a book and not a person in the real world which I understand sounds silly as he is in a book but he’s not supposed to know that is he? He’s supposed to come out of the page, you want to feel like a character is real not like they are attempting to act out the story after reading the book themselves. All emotion became second hand and blurry like it had to pass through to Randy before he felt it. People seemed to do and say what Randy expected them to as though they were all living in his dream world and so it became predictable and unbelievable.
On numerous occasions I kept asking myself how old Randy was supposed to be. As the book was drawing to a close I found out that he was 20 and it just didn’t seem to fit in with his childish ways or the older looking man on the cover.
I got confused between who was who whenever references were made to the past as no one stayed for long unless they appeared at the end again and it would make sense who they were. Randy expected sympathy, he may have well gotten it if only he could admit when he was in the wrong and for that it was hard to try fight in his corner especially during his odd outbursts.
There were a lot of unexpected explicit scenes that were unnecessary to an extent. Even if it is a part of Randy’s life I found it to be irrelevant when it got to the point where it was of no importance to the story (but maybe that is just my perspective as a young female). I didn’t find anything interesting about Randy’s life, I have read similar stories before just not as “Randy” as this (lol 😂).
It was a very short book with only 85 pages and I don’t think that worked well in it’s favour as it felt rushed with added extras. This was a bit worrying as the “plot” was forced to take a backseat until the end and the book was well underway without many of the mentioned events having taken place. This is why I say it improved near the end as that is really when anything notable started to happen. I feel like it would benefit from being longer, with this being book one maybe any future additions could be added to it and not separate in turn having more time to focus on the true meaning of it all.
I would have loved to read more about Randy’s relationship with his step dad as in the one scene which I’m guessing was meant to make us be on Randy’s side I felt like Randy was in the wrong and his actions were uncalled for. I think if I knew more about their history I would have jumped to Randy’s defense when he started pushing everyone else away.
There were a few spelling mistakes throughout the text that affected the free flow of reading each time altering my perception but that’s probably me just being picky 😂
This is an adult novel and so I wouldn’t recommend it to the majority of this blogs audience being younger than 18 but even after this review I’m also not going to write it off for those of you who are old enough to read it as you might very well enjoy it, it just wasn’t for me. I can understand what the author was trying to capture with this book and I think it will appeal to it’s own audience. Everyone is different but I personally like to come away with something after reading a book and I just didn’t get that from the Life Of Randy.
And breathe Lucy! 😌😂
Thank you for reading! 😉 Have you read the Life Of Randy? What did you think of it? Let me know and have a lovely day! ❤