*This book will be released Tuesday, May 6 2014.
I received Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach from the publisher Sourcebooks Fire. I don’t recall asking for it, but I am not one to turn down a free book. Especially one that pits band geeks against, well…anyone else. You see, I was a band geek – will be one for life, I suppose – so I instantly fell in love with Gabe, nicknamed Chunk due to his spherical body, and his smart mouth. That isn’t to say I liked everything about him, which for me is the sign of a good character. One with traits you dislike, but whose soul you love.
Gabe and the marching band face a band camp-less summer due to funds from the soda machine being given to the new dance team, when in the past the funds were for the band. Gabe and his friends slowly start a rebellion…one that results in him in an interrogation cell. The book is told in first-person from inside that interrogation cell.
The team of unlikely heroes may seem incongruous to what Hollywood thinks of high school, but it’s 100% factual for what high school really is like. Football players do support the rebellion efforts of their band geek friends. Goth girls do fall for overzealous, overweight, rebellion-inciting boys. Friendships that were once strong do turn into the opposite. This is reality, and Herbach nailed it.
High schoolers who like a little rebellion with their reading. Band geeks will pump their fists in the air, jocks will nod in approval, and goth girls will smile (a little).