Oscar is a role play-gaming, science fiction-loving, fantasy-writing teen, whose romantic fantasies and superhero aspirations have little resemblance with his lonely life in New Jersey. Despite years of being ridiculed by classmates for his appearance and lack of social skills, (and belief in a family curse), Oscar never stops dreaming of becoming a great author and finding true love. The story of Oscar's Dominican/American family, (chronicled by his college roommate), is much more than a teen angst novel, however. Interspersed with the stories of Oscar, his sister, his mother, and his deceased grandparents, is a short, but grim history lesson about the brutalities committed by the Trujillo government in the Dominican Republic in the 1950's. The narrator/writer writes in a combination of English and Spanish street talk, and makes many cultural references to role-playing games and fantasy novels that I didn't always understand; still, I enjoyed the style of writing and felt I understood most of the narrative.