Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review: Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have seems to be all that Andrew can think about.  He is starting his sophomore year of high school and used to be just fine with his life of being the second fattest kid in school and hanging out with the UN geeks.  The new girl, April, changed all that.  Now, Andrew wants to change himself and he might just get the chance when he is saved from getting beaten up by the star football player.  Will he become who he really wants to be or does he even know what that is?

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have

Things I Liked:
The book is carried entirely on its humor and the character of Andy.  I love Andy - he is a little bit of all of us - insecure and not really sure what or where he wants to be.  It was a little scary being back in that fairly realistic depiction of high school drama.  I also thought it was refreshing to have a book about an overweight boy instead of a girl.  Here's a taste of the humor:
"306.4 is big at my age.  Okay, it's big at any age  It's not big enough that they make a Discovery Channel documentary about you, but it's big enough that you stand out wherever you go.  There's no flying under the radar at 306.4.  There's a lot of surface area to reflect radar signals." p1
"There's no way to keep secrets in high school, especially secrets involving underpants and personal mortification" p53
"When you sit with people in high school, it's like you're declaring your allegiance.  Kind of like registering to vote for a particular party.  I'm not ready to be with any party.  I want to be independent for a while." p306
Things I Didn't Like:
I think perhaps it was a little too much of a glimpse into a teenage boy's mind for my taste, but I think teen boys will like it.  Even if they identify more with O. Douglas. 

It reminded me (possibly because of its title) of Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

s-factor: !@#

mrg-factor: XXX
enough references to last a while

v-factor: ->
minor bullying

Overall rating: ***

Anybody else notice the prevalence of titles like this?  Perhaps I should create a list.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage,
I will get a very small percentage

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