Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Summary: Tyler, tired of being a picked-on nerd, spray painted his school earning a bad-boy reputation and community service. His academic life goes down the drain, his social life is in the gutter, and his family life is upset by his alcoholic mother and his abusive workaholic father.
I've believe I've read all of her other books but I missed this one when it first came out. So I picked it up when I saw it at the library. I was interested to discover it has a male protagonist, as I've been mostly reading books with females in the main role(s).
Tyler's home life sucks-his dad frightened me and everyone in the family. He works constantly and terrorizes his family the few times he's home. His mother is a pet photographer and an alcoholic who excuses his father. He blames Tyler for problems at work, for being unable to handle a difficult academic schedule, for being interested in girls, for everything. But slowly (mirrored through his progress in a computer game) Tyler pulls himself out of his depression and stands up to his father, ending with change as he gains more control over his life, his mother quits alcohol, and his father promises reform.
I was uncomfortable with some of the language used to describe his crush and the other girls although he has a point about how little clothing some high school girls wear-I remember being appalled by what some felt was school appropriate. There are also extensive passages about suicide as Tyler hits rock bottom.