Thursday, June 28, 2012
The plot (from Goodreads): Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy's dad thinks Curt's a drug addict and Troy's brother thinks Troy's the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can't play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy's own life, forever.
Like many YA contemporary novels, the brilliance of FAT KID RULES THE WORLD is in its voice. Troy isn't a happy guy, and life has taught him to be cynical, but his sarcastic sense of humor shines through his narration and makes you root for him. Troy's one of those fictional characters you wish you could be friends with, and it's awesome to see him become more confident in himself and see the world differently.
That transformation is largely because of Curt MacCrae, who's up there with Tiny Cooper as one of the most entertaining and standout best friends in YA fiction. (Actually, Curt came first, so Tiny's in his club!) I also love the portrayals of Troy's dad and brother, who become increasingly more nuanced as Troy begins to see them differently.
Lastly, if you like audiobooks, this is definitely one to check out. Matthew Lillard does a fantastic job narrating!