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Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But he's got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most.
When Liam finally gets kicked out of the house, his father's brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magnet possibly have in common with his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle who lives in a trailer in upstate New York? A lot more than you'd think. And when Liam attempts to make himself over as a nerd in a desperate attempt to impress his father, it's his "aunt" Pete and the guys in his band who convince Liam there's much more to him than his father will ever see.
Liam Geller's mother is a retired supermodel, his father a high-powered CEO. Liam, 17, is a world-class ne'er-do-well. He breaks the camel's back when he's caught in flagrante delicto with a girl on his father's office desk and gets kicked out of the house. Liam's softhearted mother arranges for him to move in with her husband's estranged brother, Pete, a cross-dressing deejay who lives "in a broken-down trailer park in the middle of nowhere," per Liam's father. To regain his father's approval, Liam tries to lose his "Mr. Popularity" rep and reinvent himself as studious and nerdy (he even joins the audio-visual club), but he can't hide his charm. Darleen, a hostile classmate Liam tries to befriend, sees right through him. "You'll do what you do, which, if I'm guessing correctly, is to be wildly and naturally popular." Going's latest (after The Garden of Eve) is full of comic moments featuring "Aunt" Pete's glam-rock band buddies and Liam's relentless blunders, as well as his uncommon fashion expertise ("You're like a fashion Einstein," gushes one of Pete's friends). Readers screwups or not will empathize as Liam, utterly likable despite his faults, learns to be himself. Ages 12 up.