Scott Hudson and his 3 best friends are about to start high school... YIKES!! Scott has no clue what he's in for when the first day starts. He soon learns that his friends are all in tech-prep while he's in honors classes. He also finds out fairly quickly that upperclassmen are to be avoided, unless you want a smack in the head or relieved of your extra change. This book follows Scott as he navigates his freshman year of high school including: his mom's pregnancy announcement, his friends from middle-school drifting, his older brother Bobby seeming lost, his crush on Julia which prompts him to join too many school activities, gym class from HELL, and a few new unexpected friends....
I enjoyed this book way too much!! I say that because about halfway through I was laughing to myself and I realized that I was relating to this nerdy 15-year-old boy way more than I should. And is he ever a 15-year-old boy! The author totally captured the voice of a young male. Sometimes I would be all into it, and then he would say something completely gross and immature and I couldn't help but smile.
As Scott's life becomes more complicated, so does the choices he has to make. First his mom is going to be having a baby, his friendships from middle-school seem to be falling apart left and right, none of his after-school activities turns out as planned, and his crush on Julia just gets him in deeper and deeper. Then there is a suicide attempt by somebody in his life and it sort of puts things into perspective for Scott.
One of my favorite parts of the book is that since Scott finds out that his mom is having a baby right at the start of his school year, he starts writing "survival" tips for his younger sibling to follow when he/she gets there. It was really cute and even though he was trying to be a tough guy in most of the letters, he really wasn't really anything close to that. He calls the unborn baby all kinds of horrible names and tells it that all it's going to do is drool and puke on everything. But then he give it life lessons on girls, friendship, and high school, and tells it he's always going to be there for him/her. It was really gimmicky, but it worked.
I was really into the relationship that Scott had with his English teacher. Scott was a reader and a writer and sort of an oddball, so for him to have a mentor like that was extremely important. And I also think it's important for kids to see that these relationships exist. Not all teachers suck (just a few).
Quotes I liked:
"See Scott run. Run, Scott, run. See Scott die. No such luck..."
"Meet the Hudson kids- one had split, one hadn't arrived, and the other didn't have a clue about where he was going."
I even think I learned some stuff too... like I don't think I was ever introduced to Tom Swifties before, but I'm sure I wouldn't be able to come up with as many clever one's as Scott did:
"The first quarter is over and we haven't scored", the crowd said pointlessly.
"I've been sliced in half", Tom said intuitively.
I was definitely reminded of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and was totally picturing the kid who played Fregley in the movie as Mouth.
Overall: Definitely recommend to anyone who likes funny middle-grade type books. And for boys especially. This book shows boys that it's okay to like to read. It's cool to be smart sometimes :)
Add it to your To-Read List!!!
How I got this book: Library
Date Published: 7/21/2005