Author: Geoff Herbach
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Rating: Readers over 13
My Opinion: 9/10
Happy It's Monday! What Are You Reading? This blogging meme is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts, Book Journeys, and Unleashing Readers. In my opinion, the best books are the ones that have personality. Nothing Special, by Geoff Herbach, is absolutely filled with it - personality, spunk, and charm. While I was reading, I felt like I actually became a character in the book, and I was constantly laughing at jokes and events that occurred. Plus, Nothing Special has the all-important male reader appeal encompassed in its plot line, characters, and sports references.
Felton is back and funnier than ever in this sequel to Stupid Fast. His crazy family gets even crazier when his younger brother, Andrew, decides to run away to Florida. Felton blames himself for Andrew's running away because he has been bullying Andrew, and he decides that it is up to himself to bring Andrew home. However, getting to Florida is harder than he predicts - he has to call on his childhood friend-turned-enemy for a ride. Plus, when he finally ends up arriving, Felton must convince stubborn Andrew to return home. All the while, Felton is on the run from college football recruiters, and he must manage to put his own personal life aside to find his brother and bring life back to (somewhat) normal.
|Nothing Special is the |
sequel to Stupid Fast
The most successful part about the entire novel is how Geoff Herbach writes in a way that makes the character of Felton come alive. The story is told through a series of letters/emails/documents that Felton writes to his girlfriend, Aleah, while he is traveling on a bus. Felton intertwines his current adventures with past ones in an entertaining and clear way. Felton has a distinct personality where tends to he blame bad things that have happened in his life on himself but yet struggles to change his personality for the better. For example, when Andrew ditches his childhood friend Gus to hang out with his new football friends, he realizes why Gus is mad at him but yet he continues to leave Gus out. One likeable characteristic of Felton is that he actually realizes when he becomes too self-centered. Sure, he may make stupid decisions a lot of the time for his own personal benefit, but he always knows!
In my opinion, the plot line of Nothing Special has just the right amount of crazy thrown in. Felton's family is quite overwhelming at times, but they can get serious when necessary. Felton's relationships with his family, friends, enemies, and brother are constantly changing throughout the novel. He never has a mentor or friend that he can look to for help because he constantly pushes away people who get close to him, but he still loves his family and cares deeply for them. Felton is such a deep character, and I could keep going on and on for ages about how wonderful it is to read about him. Plus, Geoff Herbach writes about some difficult issues such as suicide with ease and makes them understandable and appropriate for a younger audience.
I would recommend Nothing Special to middle and high school boys. Although girls would definitely enjoy reading it, boys would relate a little more to Felton and his experiences with growing up. Plus, anybody who enjoys comedic road trip movies (like RV and Are We There Yet?) would love Nothing Special. One last positive about the novel is that you don't even need to read Stupid Fast to know what is going on - it is like an optional prequel. The book is an overall fun read that always has surprises around the corner, and it has a heartwarming message.