Jerk, California

Jerk, California
By: Jonathan Friesen

Twitch, Jerk, Freak, Sam Carrier has been called them all. Because of his Tourette's syndrome, Sam is in near constant motion with tics and twitches and verbal outbursts. So, of course, high school is nothing but torment. Forget friends; forget even hoping that beautiful, perfect Naomi will look his way.

And home isn't much better with his domineering stepfather reminding him that the only person who was more useless than Sam was his dead father, Jack. But then an unexpected turn of events unearths the truth about his father.

And suddenly Sam doesn't know who he is, or even where he'll go next. What he does know is that the only girl in the world who can make him happy and nervous at the same time is everywhere he turns . . . and he'd give anything just to be still.

summary from

My Rating: 3.5/5

I picked up this book on one of my many trips to the library. I'd seen it around bookstores before and I remember always being drawn to it, reading the summary a handful to times and so on. Naturally, I decided to give it a try.

To be honest, this book took me a little while to get into. Jerk, California takes many different twists and turns throughout its course. Sam goes through an extensive journey in more ways than one throughout this novel's entirety. I think this book has a great story to tell with a profound leading protagonist. I'd never read a novel that dealt with Tourette's Syndrome and seeing the world through Sam's eyes as he dealt with it on a daily bases was very eye opening. I can see this book being very inspirational and touching to those who have ever dealt with Tourette's Syndrome first hand.

Jerk, California is great character wise. Sam was very well fleshed out as was his past and those in it. The only character I wasn't so fond of was Naomi. She was a little confusing, to say the least and I had a difficult time relating to her on occasion.

All in all, I really did enjoy this book. Like I mentioned above, it took me a little time to get into but I think it's definitely a book that people should check out.


  1. Sounds pretty interesting. I had a teacher with Tourette's, and I always wanted to read more about it. I have actually never heard about this book, but it seems like it could be a good read. Nice review! I'll have to check it out!


  2. Anonymous10/30/2009

    I actually read this book after reading this review. Really great book!
    I found Naomi a bit confusing, but I think that's how the author meant her to be.
    This book wasn't like most books. No clear "climax" or anything, but in spite of that --or maybe because of-- this book is amazing.

  3. Anonymous10/03/2010

    I read this for school, and i could just not put it down. I found it confusing at times, but it was an amazing book.

  4. Anonymous2/24/2011

    I love this book

  5. Anonymous3/24/2011

    i thought it was just swell.

  6. Anonymous4/29/2011

    i loveeeeee this book so far . in my town, one of our high schools do a big 'rothesay read' and this year, jerk, california is the book they chose. in english class , our teacher reads it to us.. the book , i find, is actually very inspirational in it's own way . <3




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