I was immediately drawn to this book after reading the title, which is one of the more interesting ones that I’ve come across. The story is about Larkin Pace, a high school student an amateur filmmaker. “The Accidental Genius” is one of those books where the main character is telling his own story, and writing it down as a long-term diary as part of a school assignment.
This book is probably always going to be compared to “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, because the author includes hilarious cartoons to complement his writing. However, the two books are actually very different. This is mostly because Larkin Pace is a high school kid with high school problems, like dating, school bullies, and exploring a career. The subject matter is a little bit more mature than the “Wimpy Kid” series, but somehow that makes the cartoon illustrations seem even more welcome. The pictures serve to lighten the mood while Larkin discusses the problems and challenges of his life.
The book’s chapters tend to focus on the most memorable events that happened to Larkin, so you really feel like you’re sneaking a peek at someone’s most personal thoughts. I liked how the author didn’t include any dates in each chapter—it almost seems like Larkin started his writing assignment on a regular schedule, but falls out of a routine. He tends to provide his updates after the most impressionable moments occur, which makes this book seem even more like a student project!
One thing I noted in “The Accidental Genius” was that there were no major life-changing events that happened to Larkin. He’s a (mostly) normal kid, with a (mostly) happy family, with a (mostly) normal group of friends. But somehow, following his experiences over the course of a year makes for a really interesting book! This book made me think about all of those times when I’ve been bored in class, or a little uninterested with my own (mostly) normal life. Do you ever feel that way? Have you ever considered that someone else might be interested by what we do?