Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com
Troy knows that everyone is watching him. And laughing at him. Of course they are. At seventeen years old and almost 300 pounds, wearing what appears to be the same pair of tan pants daily, every move he makes is laughable. Will he be able to get out of the car? How many burgers will he eat? Even his effort to breathe is laughable as he huffs and puffs his way along.
He worries that he smells. You don't understand. It's not that he's a pig or anything, he just has a hard time fitting in the shower.
Poised over the subway tracks, Troy contemplates whether he can find a form of suicide that will be so serious, so severe, that no one will laugh. Enter Curt. Semi-homeless teen, school dropout, legend at his high school, and uber amazing guitar player, Curt attaches himself to Troy after saving him from the tracks. He's an itch that can't be scratched, a tick burrowing under the skin. Before Troy realizes it, he's agreed to buy Curt dinner and join his band as a drummer, even though he hasn't played since seventh grade.
Who is he kidding? He can't do this. He sees it in the eyes of his perfect kid brother, Dayle, as well as his military dad, the âdisappointed dysfunctional parent."
But with Curt's help, Troy learns to look past himself. He finds support in unexpected places. But it's not until Curt is hospitalized that Troy finally has the guts to really take a risk.
This is a fast-paced book. K. L. Going immerses the reader in the world of punk rock through the eyes of the fat kid who yearns to have people really look at him. She has a great sense of humor that shines with lines of comparison, like when Troy compares himself to Dayle before the big gig. Troy thinks Dayle looks like he's âready to win the Super Bowl, while I'm ready to heave into one." Ms. Going does an amazing job of getting into the psyche of the fat kid. There is a fair amount of rough language, but even so, this book rocks!
It took me a while to get into this book, but the book (and the main character) really grew on me by the end.