Losers is a short, funny novel about a quirky Russian kid who can’t fit in with the rest of his high school. His best friend, Vadim, is a genius who should be even more of a social outcast than he is, but even he finds his niche before Jupiter does. Jupiter Glazer is lost, out of orbit.

He lives with his parents in a warehouse in Philadelphia, and it is not, he thinks, the most interesting place in the world. Then he discovers downtown. He discovers a whole new world outside of the warehouse and high school, a sophisticated world of coffee shops and those who frequen them. At school, too, he begins to be less invisible, at first as the school bully’s target, but then, suddenly, things aren’t the way they used to be. 

It’s not really about the plot, though. Matthue Roth’s novel is about the character and the voice, and it rocks. It’s hilarious. It’s more than a little crazy, yet manages to ring true. There are universal life truths in here among Jupiter’s escapades, and you’ll find yourself rooting for Jupiter wholeheartedly. And the writing! Even funnier. Descriptive and gritty and captivating. Matthue Roth can write. I already loved his book Never Mind The Goldbergs, so I expected this to be awesome, and it was. It’s a coming of age story that also falls into the madcap adventure category occasionally, and the result is a lot of amusement minus brain rotting. This is a short novel that packs a lot of punch and will provoke a lot of muffled laughter. Highly recommended.

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