When Stuart Cornelius Truly first sets eyes on the new girl, Becca, he staples his finger to his seventh-grade history assignment. The second time he sees her, he coughs up a bite of her lunch-a vegetarian roasted pepper sandwich-all over her sweater, and promptly lies, claiming that he, too, is a vegetarian. Their third encounter goes more smoothly, but Stu's lie turns out to be harder to keep than he expected, especially since his family owns a butcher shop.
In this hilarious, heartwarming, contemporary middle grade novel, Stu suddenly begins to realize the opposite sex exists (and isn't so bad, after all!). Can Stu learn to successfully navigate old friends, new crushes, and horror-filled school dances, or will his lie, intended to impress his crush, actually cause his world to fall apart?
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.