Book Review: Narrative Loserdom: (From Journal One) by Ryan Collins

Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (December 1, 2011)
Available on:


Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.


Before getting my hands on this book, I was really excited to read it as its synopsis immediately caught my attention - possibly because I could easily relate to it. Also, the idea of a journal-styled book really appealed to me. However, I have to admit that I was a little thrown off by the intended grammatical errors and it’s attempt to make it look like a journal in the beginning. As I read on – it proved to be a read that gets better down the pages. A word of warning though: As I mentioned, this is an easy read, so don’t expect any highly twisted and sophisticated content – it’s just plain ol’ simple and fun. I mean, what do you expect of a teenager’s life, right?

Justin Taggart writes in his journal with a point of view that he is quite the loser, though I beg to differ. With athletic involvements and being rather intelligent himself, nothing spells loser with Justin. Following his interesting accounts of him searching for lawn mowing jobs, being sneaky and yet still having the conscience as to his responsibilities to his God, it’s a rather interesting mix of events and adventures. There may be no events that get you to laugh out hysterically, but it sure packs a few of chuckles and giggles when you try to understand Justin’s relationship with his friends, especially Adam. Another thing I love is the way that Justin’s writing improves as time goes by – it just goes to show that his time spent in journalism classes aren’t such a waste after all, and it also adds a hint of being realistic.

It’s interesting to note how easily you can catch Justin’s personality from the way he writes, as if you are getting to know someone in real life. However, there has been a few occasions where certain inconsistencies with Justin appear, but it can be easily forgiven as that is not the focus of the book anyway.

I enjoy how this book packs a very easy, fun and summer-like feel, even though there are many scenes set in school. That being said, the story itself paces rather slowly and also has an ending that doesn’t captivate you, nor does it end in a conventional manner.

All in all, this book is like a journal you picked up on the streets belonging to someone else, except this guy intended for you to pick it up and read it. Some may find it exciting; some may find it a little artificial. Either way, it’s a simple book about a simple life – and it’s a simple read!

About The Author

Ryan Collins was born in Texas in 1985. While attending Texas State University he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in writing, and moved toward a post-graduate degree in computer information systems. In the company of a few unpublished short stories, Narrative Loserdom represents his first self-published novel. Ryan works for a local communications company in Austin, Texas, where he resides with his girlfriend and pugs.

Rating: 3

*Special thanks to the author, Ryan Collins for providing me a copy of the book to enjoy.

9 creative remarks:

Aik said...

Hey Lemuel, thought I'd leave you some blog love (comment) on your first post. Your review is well-written indeed - it's detailed and straightforward without giving away too much. Man, you are a natural writer. Keep up your good work! :)

Unknown said...

Hmmm - I don't know. The grammatical errors might kill me.

Aik said...

@Dana: I don't like grammatical errors too; I always find myself correcting errors in ARCs.

Heather said...

It sounds like it was delivered in an interesting fashion. But this book doesn't quite sound like it's for me. Thanks for the review though!

lollybees3 said...

I read and review this on my blog and I also gave it 3 stars :) I liked how realistic it was.

Nele said...

I don't think I'll read the book, the story just doesn't sound so interesting.. I like your review though :)

ArtemisG said...

I agree with the others the story doesn't sound very interesting but I'm curious about it. Lately, I'm reading only paranormal books and I think that I need a simple book - read.

Katie Wong said...

At first, I was intrigued by the idea of a journal style book but I have to say, the grammatical errors would really annoy me (I'm a tad OCD)!

I might give it a go if I'm looking for a nice, simple read the summer :)Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

the idea of this book being like a journal makes it interesting, and it's good to read something fun and simple once in a while