Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
Duncan Boone is non-existent as far as Carly Garfield is concerned. Duncan has been pining over Carly for years. He has even gone so far as to manage an intricate locker swap to wind up next to Carly. But it isn't until his friend, Jess, throws something at him in his garage that causes stuff on the shelving unit above him to come crashing down on him, does Carly notice Duncan.
Carly likes causes. Her current cause is TARTS (Teens Against Rodent Test Studies) and she's heading up a rally, the afternoon of Homecoming. So when Duncan comes to school the next day, bloodied and battered, Carly drops everything to care for him. She walks him to all his classes and has him sit at her lunch table.
When his bruises start to fade, so too does Carly's interest in Duncan. Duncan, along with his friends Stew and Jess, devises a plan to renew Carly's interest. They need to find a bully who is willing to rough up Duncan enough to keep Carly interested in him. No one at their school is acceptable, and the meanest bully at Maple Grove, Sloth, isn't mean at all...just misunderstood. With hope waning, enter Freddie Wambaugh. Freddie is new at school, and just what they have been looking for.
At first Freddie says no to their proposal, but after thinking it over, Freddie agrees to bully Duncan, on the condition that Freddie's sister, Syd, can join Duncan's band. Without clearing it with Stew and Jess, Duncan readily agrees.
Over the next few weeks, the bully plan works brilliantly. At least it works on the Carly front. The rest of Duncan's life isn't going so well. Syd can't play the guitar. His friends are angry at him. His mom got Freddie suspended. And, oh yeah, he somehow agreed to streak at the rally for Carly.
Andy Behrens writes a quirky novel of how far a guy will go to get the girl. It was entertaining to read because usually these books are written from the perspective of the girl trying to get the guy. Duncan gets in over his head quickly and with surprising outcomes.
Does he get the girl in the end? You'll just have to read BEAUTY AND THE BULLY to find out!