Book Review: That One Kid Who Freaked Out, Or Whatever – A.J.J. Bourque

That One Kid Who Freaked Out Or WhateverPublished January 5th 2016
Format: Novel
Genre: Young Adult / Coming of Age
Length: 198 pages, ebook
Publisher: Alwick Press
Cover Artist:
Ebook ISBN: 9780983638766
Characters: Nicandro Stellan Colby, Sydney Walker

[please be advised that this review contain spoilers.]

This coming of age story started out really well. We have Nick Colby who’s funny, awkward and on the quirky side of things. He’s on his senior year when he finally found the courage to ask his long time crush Sydney Walker for a date. They hit it off right away and things are going smoothly until Nick started feeling the pressure of everything around him.

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. I loved all of the characters that were introduced, each with varying characterization. Somewhere along 70% it just stopped being awesome.

I honestly didn’t get it when Nick freaked out in front of Carmen. So all along he felt that Sydney’s controlling him? I didn’t think that it’s the case. I think he’s overthinking everything. He’s got all these monsters in his head thinking that he’s not good enough for Sydney. He created those monsters and not the other way around. (and then things were explained)

After his freak out at Carmen’s and seeking advice from Connor, the author suddenly decided to have that conversation between Nick and Sydney where Sydney sort of sound like a wee bit controlling, insensitive and all when prior to his freakout – Sydney’s all patient and understanding. It felt a bit forced IMO. I didn’t like how somehow, it was down to Sydney how he became a “freak-er.” Even his dad was all like, you weren’t like this pre-Sydney. Uhm, it was hella weird. (and then things were explained)

I’m giving this a three star rating because the whole thing felt too convenient for Nick’s character. I’m trying to recall my teen years or even college years when I was clueless about everything. Perhaps, we react differently with different scenarios but it seems to me that Nick does have some sort of anxiety disorder. I’m not a psychiatrist or something but his behavior was a bit unsettling for me. [for me]

One, his condition (?) was never properly addressed. Two, he doesn’t have any problems with his family. For some reason, he feels all alone, chained and just going with the flow. Maybe that’s a phase we go through but based on the story, everything around him was some sort of somebody’s dream life. Why? Oh, Why? Three, given that it was him who’s making a big deal of everything – I don’t understand why he developed such behavior. Was it all the teasing about his name?  What is it? I DON’T GET HIM. Then to make it more incredulous, everything went fine and dandy in his life at the end. I mean, I’m all for happy ending, realizing everything, capping things up and becoming a better version of yourself but seriously, it was like a personality switch!

Overall, I thought the author’s writing style was quite awesome and even if the way the story developed halfway didn’t work for me, I think I’ll be willing to read more from him. I reckon, the younger generations will get a kick out of this novel.  For $2.99, it’s more than worth it!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About The Author
A.J.J. Bourque began writing his first book in 2004 at the age of sixteen, and spent the next eleven years developing and refining the series. He is currently pursuing a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University Commerce. He lives in a small Texas town with his family, five cats, two chickens, and four donkeys.

To learn more about A.J.J. Bourque and his books, visit

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