Meet Randy Love. He is a young, charming, undeniably handsome lad, who puts you in the mind of a 21st century Dorian Gray ( walking around in holey boxer shorts.) If you are seeking a quick pick – me – up, then look no further because Randy Love, at your Service is the one for you. Written by Shay Carter, this coming of age book follows the endearing protagonist, breeze ( and hump) his way through life as he tries to clumsily do the right thing to better his chances for a brighter future. The reader is instantly invited on his social merry-go-round of drinking, debauchery and over-indulgence. Along the way, we also meet an array of characters, such as John, Randy’s father, who wants nothing more than to unlock the hidden potential inside Randy.
First and foremost, what I absolutely love about this book is the pure light-hearted humour. The message of this book is crystal clear: we have all been young once. You can’t help but roll your eyes at Randy’s shenanigans. For example, when Randy plays a disgusting prank on his Don Corleone wannabe landlord or when he steals multiple bottles of top quality champagne ( although I must applaud Randy’s savvy saving tips. Stashing buffet wedding food from the wedding into Tupperware boxes. Genius!) Secondly, the situations and characters dotted throughout the book are definitely relatable. We all have an annoying neighbour like Edna Montague. Some parents will be able to empathise with John’s concerns about his son Randy; that one overfed bird who has trouble leaving the nest. At times, Randy can come across as rude or obnoxious but his lovable personality continues to shine through which automatically makes you root for him. Furthermore, Randy may have the mental age of an infant, but he also has the ability to surprise you with his intelligence. Using the power of his cockiness and quickness, he manages to scale up the ladder with very little effort. Always finding himself in the right place at the right time. The pace of events unfold at a steady speed. You are not constantly waiting for something to happen, but at the same time, nothing feels rushed. You are right there, bumbling alongside Randy; time has no meaning.
My only, mini dislike with this book (and this is just my personal opinion), is, Randy’s romps and pulling excursions can get a bit tiresome. Halfway through the book, I couldn’t help but think ‘Oh God, here we go again. Another poor victim. I’m going to need another shower to wash away the filth’. And everybody was going at it at the wedding like it was a scene from one of the Carry On films. I have nothing against… erm…. shall we say ‘adult content’ but I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic wanting something a little bit deeper than a quick rendezvous between characters. Randy can be a little too…randy. That is my only gripe. Other than that, the book is well written and gloriously witty.
In terms of the demographic audience, my first initial assessment is Randy Love, at your Service, instantly appeals to young adults, university students and school leavers, who will be able to connect with Randy’s fun, vibrant lifestyle. And on a more serious note, the younger audiences will be able to understand Randy’s first steps towards making those all important career decisions. However, giving this a second thought, I also believe this book targets the older demographic. The wild parties and childish misbehaviour could resonate a sense of glimmering nostalgia; a sort of ‘been there,done that’ trip down memory lane.
In conclusion, author Shay Carter gets a 4 out of 4 stars rating from me. The book had me hooked from beginning to end. Besides the death of poor Majorie, nothing was too grim. I strongly recommend it for the young people out there that are fretting about exams, essays and everyday nuisances. This refreshing book reminds you not to take life too seriously. The dialogue, the scenarios, the characters all work together to create an explosive, comical chaos. You will not be disappointed.