Review: Spanking Shakespeare

Shakespeare Shapiro has always hated his name. His parents bestowed it on him as some kind of sick joke when he was born, and his life has gone downhill from there, one embarrassing incident after another. Entering his senior year of high school, Shakespeare has never had a girlfriend, his younger brother is cooler than he is, and his best friend’s favorite topic of conversation is his bowel movements.

But Shakespeare will have the last laugh. He is chronicling every mortifying detail in his memoir, the writing project each senior at Shakespeare’s high school must complete. And he is doing it brilliantly. And, just maybe, a prize-winning memoir will bring him respect, admiration, and a girlfriend . . . or at least a prom date.–From Goodreads

Jake Wizner has a dry sense of humor that is not for everyone, but I enjoyed his debut novel, Spanking Shakespeare. The book alternates between Shakespeare Shapiro’s senior-project writing and the events unfolding in his life as he writes his memoir. Shakespeare is an authentically crude, hormonal teenage boy from a dysfunctional family, whose problems are only exaggerated by his unusual name. Even if you have difficulty connecting with some of the outrageously unbelievable moments in Shakespeare’s life, you’ll have a hard time refraining from laughing. With so many tearjerkers out there, it was refreshing to read a book that kept me cracking up from beginning to end.

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