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by James Patterson & Emily Raymond
Theo Foster’s secret Twitter account just went viral. Now he and three other teens are expelled and Theo is determined to find out who is guilty and who is innocent.
Theo forms an unlikely allegiance with the three others who have been expelled. There is Sasha, the girl he’s been secretly crushing on, Jude, the school mascot and Theo’s best friend, and lastly Parker, the quarterback. Everyone seems to have a secret that they want to hide. Can Theo discover the truth? And will the truth bring these unlikely teens together?
James Paterson creates a first-person narrative that makes the reader fall in love with Theo and his unlikely friends. Although Theo is all about saving himself, he is completely relatable and loveable. The characters in Expelled jump off the page with humor, anger, and an array of teen emotions.
Expelled explores several deep issues include steroid use and incest without going into graphic detail. In the end, the reader will learn that other people’s lives are not as perfect as we imagine them to be. Despite the engaging story, there are several drawbacks to Expelled. There is frequent and creative use of profanity as well as sexually crude remarks. Because of this, Expelled should be enjoyed by older readers.
- Someone posted a picture on social media. The picture was of the quarterback, “drunk and shirtless . . . He’s got a bottle of Jack Daniels in his right hand and the bare breasts of an unidentified female in very close proximity to his left.”
- Jude is a “sixteen-year-old-bisexual virgin in a Hello Kitty T-shirt.” He is bullied even though his school has a Gay-Straight Alliance club and “the rainbow flag over the counselor’s office.”
- Parker’s friend has a dog that humps a pink pig stuffed animal. “He’s always horny in the morning,” Jude says. “Also, he and Sex Pig are in love.”
- Jude wants to go to art school. When talking about it, he tells Parker, “RISD’s school mascot is a giant penis named Scrotie.”
- Parker asks a computer nerd if his porn isn’t downloading fast enough.
- When Parker is looking at Sasha’s ears, he has, “an almost overwhelming desire to kiss them.”
- Sasha said that she has a “dick pic” that the quarterback sent her.
- Parker kisses Sasha. “Sasha’s mouth is soft and warm, and it opens to mine. I’m going to die of how good this feels. I let go of her with one hand, and twist my fingers into her dark hair, hot and silky in the sun.”
- Sasha tells Parker that her dad molests her. “. . .he pressed me up against the refrigerator and he kissed me. . .” When her father tries to convince Sasha that incest is okay, he said, “Greek nobles used to kidnap young boys, take them into the forest, and rape them, and no one had any problem with that.”
- Parker thinks about someone who killed themselves from jumping off a water tower. “. . . I can’t help wondering how he did it. How he coaxed himself to the edge and then leapt into the air.”
- Parker’s father committed suicide because he had ALS. Parker thinks of finding the body. “There was still the blood. The gun. The shattered back window of the car.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Someone dressed as the school mascot. When trying to find out who it was, the quarterback said, “I was so drunk it could have been Tinkerbell under that head.” Later the quarterback tells Parker, “I was torn up that night, bro. I did six Jager shots and woke up under the bleachers.”
- The Shell station is where “you can shoulder-tap for beer if your fake ID sucks.” However, Parker has never tried to use his fake ID.
- Sasha’s dad is seen drinking whiskey and often seems drunk.
- Parker has a secret social media account where he likes to post “harmless gossip.” In one post he said someone was, “drunk enough last weekend to introduce self to own dad.”
- When talking about the picture, Parker asks his friend if he knows who was wearing the mascot head, “and then whoever that was go so wasted he whipped his dick out in front of an iPhone.”
- Feeling sorry for himself, Parker drinks half a bottle of Knob Creek whiskey.
- Parker talks about how fishing usually involves beer because all you do is sit and wait for a fish to bite the bait.
- A computer smart boy tells Parker, that if he wanted to he could, “have six pounds of heroin sent to his mother at her office.” The boy then admits it would be “tricky.”
- Parker goes to a baseball game and one of his friends is drinking a Michelob Ultra “she bummed off a guy coming out of the 7-Eleven.” Her water bottle is also filled with vodka.
- Sasha said her mom was into the art scene and would go to, “really fancy restaurants and snort lines off the porcelain in the ladies’ room.”
- Parker throws a prom for those who are expelled from school. The kids that attend drink. Someone brings a keg to the party. One boy brings a case of Tecate.
- The quarterback reveals that the coach has been giving steroids to the players. “They shot me full of chemicals like I was a prize-winning steer!” He takes his jeans down, “so I can see half of his left ass cheek, where the skin is puckered and red—a big, angry scar.”
- Profanity is used often throughout the book. The profanity includes ass, bitch, dick, fuck, goddamn, hell, piss, pussies, shit, and wiseass.
- Parker thinks waking his friend up early was a “dick move.” He often thinks of other people as a “dick.”
- Sasha said, “Oh, my God I don’t know why I called you a nerd.”
- Several times Parker uses Jesus as an exclamation. For example, he said, “Jesus, you scared me!”
- While at an expulsion hearing, the narrator thinks, “I’ve heard that some kids show up to expulsion hearings with lawyers. Probably, at the very least, they bring a pissed-off parent or two.”
- Parker is upset that people think he posted the picture, and he would like to “kick the ass of whoever’s trying to make me take the fall for it.” Later he yells that he will “tell my side of the story. And I will make my own goddamn ending!”
- When Parker starts asking questions about the picture, someone jokes that “Those are my tits in the picture.”
- Parker’s mom leaves him a note not to eat all the ice cream “or there’ll be hell to pay.”
- Parker sees graffiti that reads, “fuck school.”
- When leaving, someone says, “later bitches.”
- Parker thinks to himself that he is an “asshat.”
- Parker yells at the quarterback, “You were too much of a pussy to admit you hated it (football).”
- When Parker tells Mr. Palmieri, the school administrator, about the steroid, Mr. Palmieri says, “God fucking damn it.”
- When talking to his mom, Parker asks her “if she felt hypocritical, seeing as how she’d been a socialist atheist at UCLA.”
- Sasha, an atheist, tells Parker that, “my grandma used to make prayer shawls . . . with each stitch, she’d say a little prayer for the person she was making it for.”