Everyone has favorite books.
: Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders
Author: Geoff Herbach
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Gabe is having a tough week. Normally the funny kid at the lunch table, he's on edge from trying to kick his soda addiction and ditch his long-standing nickname, "Chunk." So when news breaks that his beloved marching band camp has been cancelled due to lack of funding, he's furious. What makes him even madder? The school's vending machine money—which had previous been collected by the band—is now sponsoring the new cheer squad.
The war is ON. And Gabe is leading the charge. No one will be safe from the Geekers' odd brand of wrath: not the principal, the band teacher, the local newspaper, and certainly not the cheerleaders and their jock boyfriends. Like the saying goes, it isn't over until the fat boy sings...
Bit of a trite statement? Let's amend it then to say-
Everyone had favorite books that won't win the Nobel Prize for Literature but manage to be just as funny/cute/stirring as ever. This is one of those books. It's not overly deep or insightful but it certainly is a fun and clever read. You' ex got the stereotypical battle of high school- the (band) nerds vs. the popular (cheerleaders) with a few memorable characters thrown in for good measure including a rather blunt grandfather running around in speedos, a cleaning lady who can't clean, and a goth-dancer-doughnut shop worker. Not to mention Gabe- the funny fat boy who is anything but average.
It's refreshing, for once, to have a male narrator in a genre so dominated by heroines. It's even better to see one flawed and imperfect, yet working toward making himself a better (healthier) person. You cheer for Gabe. No matter what stupid or silly or outrageous thing he is doing, you want him to win. Everyone loves an underdog, and everyone definitely loves people who can be this personable.
Considering the style of this book, making Gabe as lovable as possible was a must. The entire thing is testimony during a police interview, pretty much a one sided interview. It takes some getting used to, especially as you don't get any action or body language or narration (nothing is shown, everything has to be told) but you do get some memorable lines from Gabe like, "There were sheep in the school this morning? Really?"
The book probably could have used another 100 pages considering, even at 320 pages, it's a quick read and some plot points seemed rushed. Despite that, it's wonderfully funny and a great afternoon escape for anyone who has ever felt like he or she doesn't quite fit in. This would be perfect for a vacation novel to keep you smiling even after you close the final page.