Turns out this book was about a different big fella - a high schooler named Henry Abbott (or "Biggie" to everyone in his small Iowa town). Biggie wants what most other high school boys want - to make it through school without being ridiculed, to be valedictorian, to get into the college of his choice, and to get the girl. Getting the grades comes easy for Biggie. Getting through high school by being invisible was a bit harder, being that he's more than 6 feet tall and weighs over 300 pounds, but by sitting at the back of the room and never speaking Biggie has managed to keep people from teasing him as well. Getting the girl is nearly impossible, since she's in love with the jockiest jock in school and Biggie's wooing secrets involve just a bit of creepy cyberstalking. At 17, Biggie decides it's finally time to make a change. Not only to his outward appearance, but also to his personality. He's going to get fit, get a spot on the baseball team, and get the girl.
This is one of those lose/lose books for a YA author. Warning: Biggie acts like a 17 year old kid (well, actually even younger because he's socially inept). If you're a grown up, there's a good chance he'll annoy you. (However, if he would have been "oh so mature" there would have been another group complaining that he wasn't a realistic character. See? Lose/Lose.) I fell in love with Biggie. He was so unsure of himself, and so not realistic with his expectations, and he just reminded me so much of another chubby fella I adore that my heart constantly went out to him (even though my hands sometimes wanted to wring his neck!) . . .
I could totally picture a young Ethan Suplee playing Biggie, even though Biggie was considerably more intelligent than most of Suplee's characters . . .
One more warning: There's also a lot of baseball in this story. If you're not a fan of sportsball stories, once again you might find yourself put off by this one. Me? I spend my summers doing this . . .
and this . . .
Well, okay, I really spend my summers doing a lot of this . . .
but what the kids don't know, won't hurt 'em ; )
I loved this book. It showed that if " you want something in life, you have to earn it " and sometimes even though you put in the work, you still don't get everything you want. It also gave a great lesson of perception not always being reality.
"It's a cold, lonely feeling when you realize that the person in the mirror is the villain in the story. This is the guy. This guy, now five feet from me, stalked a girl online, ignored and shut out classmates, lied to his mother on a daily basis, looked down on his stepfather, and threw his little brother up against the wall, just for telling me to support my teammates."
I love a good redemption arc! Almost as I love the Notorious B.I.G. Speaking of, time to wrap this up and listen to some hot jamz . . .