Happy book birthday to Smooth by Matt Burns! I have no idea if I’ll be reading this one. The premise is one that doesn’t really appeal to me. I’m also thoroughly confused with the blood-test aspect of acne medicine. The one thing this book has that’s kept me pretty intrigued is that bit about the girl he meets at the clinic. In that sense, I’m pretty curious.
Kevin’s acne is horribly, hideously bad. Can a risky treatment fix his face — and his entire life? A witty and sharply observed debut. Fifteen-year-old Kevin has acne, and not just any acne. Stinging red welts, painful pustules, and massive whiteheads are ruining his life. In an act of desperation, he asks his dermatologist to prescribe him a drug with a dizzying list of possible side effects — including depression — and an obligatory monthly blood test. But when he meets Alex, a girl in the lab waiting room, blood test day quickly becomes his safe haven — something he sorely needs, since everyone, including his two best friends, is trying his last nerve. But as Kevin’s friendships slip further away and he discovers who Alex is outside of the lab, he realizes he's not sure about anything anymore. Are loneliness and self-doubt the side effects of his new acne meds? Or are they the side effects of being fifteen? Told in a bitingly funny first-person narration, this debut novel crackles with wry and wistful insights about the absurdities of high school, longing and heartbreak, and a body out of control. A surefire hit for teen boys and reluctant readers, Smooth gets under the skin of a tenth-grader who is changing — inside and out.