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Funny Little Monkey    by Andrew Auseon Amazon.com order for
Funny Little Monkey
by Andrew Auseon
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Softcover

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*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Andrew Auseon has penned a twisted story of revenge gone awry in his debut novel, Funny Little Monkey. For the last five years, Arty Moore has always been in his twin brother's shadow literally. Kurt Moore's six-foot-one (or more) frame towers over his brother's four-foot-two. Kurt uses his stature to bully Arty, and Arty is not going to take it any longer.

Enlisting the help of an underground resistance at Millard Fillmore High, Arty plots a devious revenge on his brother. Along the way, though, things get completely out of Arty's hands and soon everyone in town is looking for Kurt. To complicate matters, the best looking girl in the school has begun hanging out with Arty. Arty cannot figure out why she would be interested in him, but he ignores the warning bells in the back of his head and lingers blissfully in her presence until her ulterior motive surfaces. By the end, Arty learns a little more about himself and his brother, but is it for the better?

Of all the straight young adult fiction I have read, Funny Little Monkey is by far the most unrealistic. Yes, there are high-schoolers who smoke and drink, but Auseon makes it seem like all teenagers have succumbed to these vices and readily get away with it in front of authority figures. Also, while every school has its outcasts, Millard Fillmore High seems to be almost entirely populated by them. Plus, the resistance group run by this horde of outcasts is completely unbelievable the group actually borders on organized crime.

Andrew Auseon's Funny Little Monkey is just too hard to swallow as realistic teen fiction. While I can completely buy in to the most fantastic fantasy, I just could not believe that anything like this story could ever happen to the extremes to which the author takes it.

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