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Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by…
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Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator

by Josh Berk

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548218,071 (3.5)2
2012 (2) ARC (2) brother (1) death (3) family (2) father (1) fathers (1) fathers and sons (2) fiction (4) forensics (6) friendship (1) funny (1) galley (1) grief (6) high school (4) humor (5) identity (1) lying (1) morality (1) mystery (11) netgalley (3) New Jersey (1) school clubs (2) sons (1) suicide (1) teen (4) teen fiction (2) to-read (2) YA (6) young adult (3)
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This book was on the Collaborative Summer Reading Program bibliography for books with a forensics theme (and I really wanted to like it better). However, the best way to review it is describing it as "the good, the bad and the ugly." THE GOOD: The lead character Guy Langman is likable enough as he is dealing with his father's death (and the author handles a 16-year-old dealing with grief in a realistic manner); the supporting characters are also likable, especially Maureen (who ends up being Guy's unlikely love interest); and the author does make forensics interesting and the mystery is resolved in a manner that is satisfying. THE BAD: I found the stereotyping (although handled with attempted humor)to be distracting--the worst being Guy's jokes about being Jewish and his jokes about Indian best friend Anoop. Also, as it is written from a teenage male's point of view, the female characters are also described more according to their physical appearance (to put it nicely) than their personality traits (although the author does make up for this by the end with Guy's budding relationship with Maureen). THE UGLY: There is a lot of language and sexual slang used so I'd only recommend it to mature teen readers. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 16, 2014 |
I got this book from netgalley (first book I got from them for which I am truly grateful) and even though I just finished reading it I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy once it's released (March 2012, can you believe we all have to wait that long?!).

This book managed to be consistently funny, but in a completely believable way, none of it seemed forced. The dialogue was a thing of beauty. I know it's a weird thing to say when describing teens talking, but that's just it - it was so unfailingly real.

But what I really loved about this book was its use of humour. The book, as I've said, is funny from beginning to end. Bear in mind I don't usually say this about just any book, humour is one of the few things I take seriously. But it's more than just that. Berk mixes in humorous dialogue or observations with more emotional moments, making them all the more poignant and sweeter. It's rare for an author to successfully use humour like that. Most will just write some jokes for their characters to blab so they can draw a few laughs from their readers, but to use it so well that it draws attention to deeper issues in the plot and the characters' lives and personalities... That is rare! I really hope other readers will take notice of that when they read the book, because this book really deserves to be noticed.

The plot is tight and never fails to draw the reader in. The characters are believable and well-written.

Honestly I could spend a long time writing about this book, but it just frustrates me that I'm not a great reviewer who could manage to do it justice.

That being said, I recommend this book to everyone, I don't see how anyone could dislike it. I may be a bit biased since I was a forensics nerd in high school and later a forensics nerd in university so a lot of it rang true. So if you have some forensics nerd friends, this book will be a solid gift when it comes out. ( )
  Isa_Lavinia | Sep 10, 2013 |
What a fun book! (Although it does perhaps give a little too much information about the thought process of teenage boys for those of us who aren't and never have been one to feel totally comfortable with. Especially if you work in close proximity to them every day and/or happen to live with one.) I didn't go into it expecting a big crime mystery (he is the crime scene procrastinator, after all) so I wasn't at all disappointed that the actual crime was such a small part of the book. Instead it was a witty, funny (again, teenage boy-style witty and funny, but still...) book about a boy who lost his father and is trying to figure out both his place in the world and how to cope with his mother's and his own grief. It had me laughing out loud one minute, cringing at his truly bad and tasteless jokes the next. I think every high school class out there has at least one Guy Langman in it, so anyone who's ever been to high school can identify with this book at least a little. Crime drama it isn't. Looking for a quirky coming-of-age story, though? Case closed.

Though, honestly, do teenage boys really toss around all those "your mother" jokes? As the mother of a teenage boy, it's more than a little disconcerting.... ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
Love, love Guy's voice in this book! I chuckled at many of the lines. Hopefully we get to see Guy as a senior or in college. Good read. ( )
  socango | Apr 2, 2013 |
Guy Langman's father was really old; Guy is the child of a second marriage late in life for his dad. When his dad dies, Guy begins keeping a journal for his grief (in reality it's for his bawdy, inappropriately crude humor) at the request of his psychologist. The book is the journal entries. At school, his friend Anup drags him to a new forensics club in hopes of getting to know girls better. However, when a real-life murder takes place, Guy and his club members decide it's up to them to solve the mystery.
The novel is written at about a third or fourth grade level, but the incessant locker room language, plus a little of the subject matter, put this one off limits for most students likely until 8th grade. Essentially, it's a high interest low level novel that might find traction with some reluctant readers. I was a bit turned off by the stupid puns and the incessent locker room talk, but that might be what draws some readers to the book more than the CSI angle. ( )
  TigerLMS | Jan 15, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037585701X, Hardcover)

Guy Langman can't be bothered with much. But when his friend Anoop wants Guy to join the forensics club with him in the (possibly misguided) hopes of impressing some girls, Guy thinks why not.

They certainly aren't expecting to find a real dead body on the simulated crime scene they're assigned to collect evidence from. But after some girlish, undignified screaming, the two realize it is indeed a body. Which means they have stumbled across a real, dead murder victim.

Meanwhile, Guy has been looking into the past of his father—a larger-than-life character who recently passed away. He was much older than Guy's mom, and had a whole past Guy never even knew about. Could his father's past and the dead body be linked? Does Guy want to know? He's going to need all his newfound forensics skills to find out . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Guy Langman, his best friend Anoop, and other members of the school Forensics Club investigate a break-in and a possible murder, which could be connected to the mysterious past of Guy's recently-deceased father.

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