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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan {Review}

Synopsis: courtesy of amazon.com}:
Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa’s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?
I received this ARC courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
When one is perusing for a newly released title to add to the queue, usually you look to the books that you’re interested in, and those you think will give the most “bang for your buck”. I liked the synopsis of this particular titled, I LOVED that the main character was male, and that the author was tackling an issue that is plaguing our young people today: Obesity.
I truly thought that this story would be a relatively simple one: A boy, feeling sorry for himself about his weight. Chastised by peers, his parents, etc.
But it’s SO much more.
In my opinion, there are about 5 storylines going on at once: A boy trapped in the body that he created himself, and realizing that he desperately wants to fix it, and his journey TO fixing it. A young man who grew up not knowing his all-star teenaged father, who essentially gave him up to pursue his own dreams. A son of a stepdad that seemingly doesn’t care about him. A pubescent teenager, who is desperately looking for love from the wrong places. And… a social outcast desperately trying to fit in.
I’m not going to waste your time with a synopsis, but all you have to know is that this story is GUTWRENCHING at times. I’m a big believer in crying when the mood strikes, and there were many times during this novel when I just broke down in tears. Many times about his struggles with his weight {I am ALL too familiar with sitting in a flimsy gown and getting ready for the steady barrage about how much weight I gained as a teen}.
Was this Mr. Sullivan’s intention? Maybe not. But there were some one-liners in this book that had me gut-wrenchingly sad.
Another facet that I adored about this book is that there were a lot of VERY bittersweet moments between main character Biggie {Henry}, and his stepdad, Laser. But unlike so many other YA books—it wasn’t at all forced. The scenarios were incredibly real & raw. No calculating needed.
It also wasn’t your typical “jock” book, either. It had a much more sophisticated presentation than similar titles that I’ve encountered.
Bravo Derek Sullivan! Bravo!
{Where can I buy this?}:
B & N:
{What would I rate it?}: 4.95/5::: my only complaint is that I would’ve liked to see the mom developed a little more.
{Who would I recommend this book to?}:

Anyone who enjoys YA literature, young men especially, people who enjoy baseball, anyone looking for one of those books you pick up at 9AM on a Sunday afternoon, and only stop reading to pee and grab something to eat.

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