50 pages 1 hour read

A.S. King

Reality Boy

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Character Analysis

Gerald

Seventeen-year-old Gerald is an angry teenager who splits his time between high school special education classes, working at the PEC center, and anger management sessions. Unlike the average teenager, he has a sordid past as a child reality television star on Network Nanny; he is known notoriously as the Crapper, “Gerald the spoiled brat,” or “Gerald the kid who threw violent tantrums” (2). His experience on the show has caused great strain on his life, particularly as the film crew witnessed instances of abuse perpetuated by his sister, Tasha, against him, and yet no one intervened. Still reeling from this sense of injustice, Gerald wavers between ambivalence and deep anger in his teenage years. When lessons from anger management sessions are not enough, he retreats into Gersday, an imaginary place in his mind, where he lives out the fantasies that he wishes were true in his real life.

Gerald’s escapism and temper do not become pressing issues for him until he meets Hannah. When he suddenly experiences a desire to have a deeper connection with someone, he comes to realize that he lacks the proper emotional tools to connect without feeling vulnerable. When Hannah tells him that he scared her when he nearly got into a fight with a rude customer, he realizes that this is the first time he has had to deal with the repercussions of his anger.

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