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Burger Wuss
Anderson, M. T.
Teen Fiction ANDERSO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In a world where every teenager works at one fast food chain or another and likes it, Anthony just doesn't fit in. His first real girlfriend has dumped him for a meathead named Turner who works at O'Dermott's, so Anthony plots revenge. He gets a job at the restaurant and embarks on a complicated plot to pit the kids from Burger Queen against the kids from O'Dermott'sÄand thereby draw the BQ wrath down on company-man Turner's head. Like Anderson's Thirsty, this book is a burlesque of teenage angst and conformist culture; the vacuous foundation of the vicious rivalry between the two food chains is underscored by a caustic portrayal of Anthony's two best friends, giddy with their own puppy love. They call each other "Ricky Licky" and "Jennster Junebug," have eyes for no one else, and then, after finally having intercourse, break up over a movie rental. Anarchist vagabond Shunt is Anthony's partner in his anti-conformity crimes: "I'm Shunt," he says, on Anthony's first day at work. "Welcome to corporate hell. Start screaming now." Although the ending is a little suddenÄand although Anthony's long delay in realizing that a girl can't be "stolen" makes him seem like a bit of a meathead himselfÄAnderson's witty tale of a lovelorn boy and his corporate antagonists is both a tasty read and a stinging satire. Ages 14-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Gr 8-10-This lightweight, sometimes tedious spoof pokes fun at the inconstancies of the fast-food generation. Anthony takes a job at O'Dermott's restaurant to make life miserable for Turner, a boy whom he blames for the alienation of the affections of his girlfriend, Diana. With intricate plans of destruction in mind, Anthony places himself in a lose-lose situation, actually at the mercy of his rival, who is his superior at O'Dermott's. In antic and broad comedic situations, Turner causes on-the-job angst for Anthony, aka "The Wuss." Invited out after work with the duplicitous Turner and other staff, he is set up in a fight with workers from the competition, Burger Queen. Anthony's revenge plan is activated with the help of grillboy, anarchist Shunt; they steal the condiment troll from Burger Queen in a daring undercover-assault mission. An anonymous letter points the finger to O'Dermott's, in general, and Turner, in specific, and his cherished car is driven into a lake by angry Burger Queen employees. Victory is not sweet for Anthony, though; he still doesn't get it. Beaten to a bloody pulp by Turner, he finally has it spelled out to him by Diana that she went after Turner, and that she dumped Anthony. Duh! The boy's parents and eavesdropping neighbor are buffoons. Dialogue among the teenagers, particularly Anthony's love-besotted best friend and girlfriend, is annoying and unrealistic. Readers will enjoy Burger Wuss for the spoof that it is, but it's hard to drum up much sympathy for a dense protagonist who takes so long to learn that he's been an idiot.-Alice Casey Smith, Sayreville War Memorial High School, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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