Review Detail

Kids Fiction 914
Funny and Realistic Middle Grade Romance!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Stu generally hangs out playing video games with his friend Ben, who torments him about some of his past exploits, but when a new girl, Becca, moves to his school, he is entranced. So entranced that he even tries a bit of her roasted red pepper sandwich and claims to be a vegetarian just like she is. The problem? His father runs the local butcher shop, and Stu's relationship with vegetables is antagonistic at best! Still, Becca actually talks to him and gives him Joe's Smokin' Peas (aka fiery peas of death) to eat at lunch, so Stu sticks by his assertion that he is vegetarian, and even volunteers to help with Becca's campaign to get vegetarian entrees offered at lunch. Stu isn't completely sure about Becca's affections, and agonizes when she dances with Jackson in the gym class square dancing unit. As the town's Irrigation Festival approaches, there are lots of plans being made. Stu's father has a super secret plan that involves a float in the parade... as well as some interesting meat related costumes. Becca ramps up her campaign for vegetarian entrees, there are school projects (including Mr. Snedecker's food log), a square dance exhibition, and lots of pairing up of couples. Stu and Ben are a bit confused about their new reactions to girls, but they do their best, asking Becca and Kirsten to go to the festival with them. There are rides, tests of skill, and the parade. Will Stu be able to hide his true self (as well as his family) from Becca? And if she finds out, how will she feel?
Good Points
This is a brilliant book for several reasons. It has the romance of Peirce's Big Nate, the misadventures of Greenwald's Charlie Joe Jackson, and the family involvement of Landis' The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody. Stu is the quintessential middle school student who latches onto something that seems like a good idea and holds onto it even when it doesn't work any longer. It is completely believable that a 6th grade boy would tell a girl he was a vegetarian just to impress her, but the fact that Stu sticks with it just adds to the humor. The plot has a singular point (the festival and his unveiling) that offers a solid and unconfusing framework for a series of hysterically funny anecdoctal events that showcase Stu's process of maturation while still causing me to dog ear every tenth page with a funny line on it.



The supporting characters are amusing foils for Stu's half baked ideas. His father shows a similar misplaced enthusiasm which is particularly fun to see, since middle school students are so often apples to their parental units respective trees, but this is not often shown in the literature. Ben, with his giggle, is a great friend. Becca has her own interests, and while she is somewhat interested in Stu romantically, there are plenty of other things going on in her life.



The best part of this book is the writing. The amount of lines that made me snort with laughter quickly became too numerous to count. From a zombie apocalypse begin just a few bad wieners away to "her hand shriveled up her sleeve like a frightened turtle" (page 101, ARC) to the fact that without girls, the boys would be on the top of a ride barfing their guts out, this was Sonnenblick quality one liners combined with the slightly gross, embarrassing humor that middle school students love. The cover definitely points out that this book will be funny, and does not disappoint.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome! Within...
ICK! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Animals--they're cute and fluffy, cuddly and puffy, and ... sometimes...
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Drew Sheneman brings budding paleontologists the truth about...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New...
Soulswift
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must rethink...
Goblin King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Beautiful Wild
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You are invited to set sail on the maiden voyage...

Latest Member Reviews

The Train Your Brain Mind Exercise: 156 Puzzles for a Superior Mind
 
3.0
"The book sets expectations a bit high by touting the claim of unique puzzles for all skill levels, with a..."
Goodbye: A Story of Suicide
 
3.0
"A (quasi-creative?) non-fiction graphic novel, aimed at a Middle Grade or lower YA audience. It addresses the topic of bullying..."
Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing
 
4.0
"A compilation of excerpts from fifteen noteworthy speeches, selected from across American history. The chosen pieces represent great variety,..."
The (other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
 
5.0
"3 Reasons You Need THE OTHER F WORD on your shelves: 1.) The list of contributors: The range of..."
The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein's Creator Mary Shelley
 
4.5
"What worked: This is a fascinating insight into the life of the author of Frankenstein. The beginning paragraph, when Mary..."
Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam
 
5.0
"The conflict in Vietnam was horrible, contentious, and defined the 1960s in many ways. In order to give an all-inclusive..."
Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
 
4.0
"A candid, comprehensive, and thoroughly researched look at the long fight for women’s rights—spanning nearly a century of history while..."
Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over
 
3.5
""Stay Strong. Love endlessly. Change lives." --Amy Bleuel This suicide and mental illness awareness collection is made..."
The Infographic Guide to College: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
 
3.5
"As approachable as it is pragmatic, this college primer could largely double as a bite-sized approach to post high school..."
The Book That Made Me
 
4.0
"The Book That Made Me' is an anthology by several authors that tells about a book that influenced their life...."
Girling Up
 
4.0
"What worked: Encouraging info for girls on growing up. Mayim is like that cool older sis that tells you what..."
This Is Really Happening
 
5.0
"I wish I could accurately put into words how much I adored This is Really Happening. I didn’t..."
How to Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life
 
4.0
"Before reading this I had not heard of Jeffrey Marsh, but after reading this book I can tell you that..."
Courage & Defiance: Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in WWII Denmark
 
4.5
"Immersive, impactful and informative. This non-fiction account of World War 2 takes a somewhat more alternate angle than is usual—shedding..."
Kian and Jc: Don't Try This At Home
 
3.5
"KIAN AND JC: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME is exactly what fans of the YouTube stars are hoping for: some..."
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
 
4.5
" “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” –Malala Yousafzai A momentously important..."
This Book Is Gay
 
5.0
"“Anyway, who gets to decide what’s “normal” and what isn’t? What a horrid, excluding word that is.” - James Dawson,..."
Animalium
 
4.5
"ANIMALIUM is a unique and beautifully illustrated book. Showcasing over 200 species in a museum-exhibit style, ANIMALIUM will educate young..."
Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World's Most Memorable Photographs
 
4.0
"With informative and easy to understand prose, this refreshing look at the world's most memorable photographs is a perfect choice..."
They Changed the World: Bell, Edison, and Tesla
 
5.0
"I learned a lot of new information about Bell, Edison, and Tesla. I always knew there was competition between inventors..."