Friday Rec: The Liberation of Max McTrue

FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOM! If you haven’t seen Braveheart, then you won’t know why that’s the perfect word to bellow on a Friday afternoon. But speaking of freedom, the book we can’t wait to share with you this week is Kim Culbertson’s novella, The Liberation of Max McTrue (seewhatwedidthere?).

Max McTrue has spent his entire life trying to fly under the radar. He plays sports. He does okay in school. He has a girlfriend. He’s normal. So when, all of a sudden, he’s expected to apply to college and make something of himself, he kinda freaks out a little. And by a little, we mean he feels so paralyzed by all the decisions he has to make that he can’t even make himself send out his college applications. That is, until he meets Clara Jane Ramsey, and has one of the most eye-opening days of his life.

Here’s how The Liberation of Max McTrue scores on our uber-professional point system:

+ 150 points for the MC’s kickass, versatile name. The name “Max McTrue” makes you want to call up your parents and yell at them for giving you such a boring name. I mean, think of the possibilities! On the football field, he’s McTrain. In photography class, he’s McLenscap. In math class, he’s McFractions. The comedy potential is astounding.

+ 300 points for the refreshing lack of supernatural creatures trying to kill/maim/capture and/or otherwise pester the main character. I love me a demon or two. Heck, I even like the occasional angel. They’re pretty. They glow. But for serious? It’s nice to know that, whatever the characters find out about themselves by the end of the book, it won’t be that they’re the last hybrid descendant of some good and evil combo charged with saving the world.

– 100 points for manic pixie dream girl Clara Jane Ramsey. Girls like this always make us feel boring. And also blush when we think about the Justin Bieber poster tacked to the office wall.

+ 500 points for the converted ice cream truck that Emerson, Max’s best friend, gets to drive around. Need I say more? ICE. CREAM. TRUCK. And! AND! Emerson uses the truck to hold her archery equipment/library. We want to be Emerson’s BFFLs. Now. And then we might steal her truck.

– 75 points for Darcy, Max’s on-again-off-again golden girlfriend, whom everybody seems to like. We’re taking points off here just because everyone always hates the golden girl. She gets the guys. She has nice hair. She actually looks prettier after running around on a basketball court for an hour. And she will always smell better than you, no matter what. Sorry, Darcy. You can pout those perfect, glossed lips all you want. You still can’t sit with us.

+ 200 points for addressing a legitimate teenage concern that doesn’t get enough air time. Everyone stresses about college. The people who say they’re not concerned about it are filthy liars. Thinking about the future is worse than trying to find the bathroom at 3 AM without a night light. A huge round of applause.

So, ultimately, our wonderful friend Max McTrue scores a whopping 975 points! Zing. You won’t want to miss this one. Aaaaand it’s a novella, so you have no excuse! Get readin’, Figlets.

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