Monday, May 28, 2012
Nothing Special, by Geoff Herbach- Blog Tour Review and Guest Post
Felton Reinstein thought he had it all-a great girlfriend, an athletic scholarship in the bag, and football friends he could totally count on. Wrong Like an elephant storming a house of cards, it all comes crashing down. And it's Felton's fault. Turns out his little brother has taken an impromptu road trip to Florida (aka desperate flight from all the talented people) to make a bid for stardom (aka fronting a hotel rock band with escapees from a retirement community). What's a big brother to do but help pick up the pieces, even if it means giving up all the status, all the glory and once again facing a life of nothing special.
Right up front let me tell you, this is part two. Nothing Special is the follow up to Stupid Fast, which I quite stupidly didn't realize, making the dive right into the depths of Felton's mind totally disconcerting. Therefore I want to make it known, before I get into the review, I think I was missing a rather large part of what made Nothing Special tick. IE- all the development of Stupid Fast.
Told in letters, dated and timed during a mystery trip you're not sure about until the end, Felton tells the first person narrative of his disasterous summer. It's a crazy adventure, and because of how it's narrated, full of the misadventures of a completely seperate mystery trip, it keeps you guessing about what's going on right up until the end. I found it confusing to follow for the first third of the book or more, but I think that was likely because I was supposed to be already familiar with both Felton and the events from Stupid Fast. I'm gussing it's much more fluid if you've read it in the appropriate order.
Felton has a unique voice, it's wonky and it definately grows on you, again- not likely an issue with readers of Stupid Fast. His bizzare family, and even more bizzare sudden athletic super powers are charming, and I like the juztaposition of the celebrity-jock with the hopelessly odd kid scenario. How he bungs up his celeb-jock moments in a purely weird kid way are amusing and honest, and makes him higly relatable.
But more than anything I like how Felton works out his issues. How he realizes his head was shoved up his backside, the way he discovers his neurosis affects his crazy little brother and the way he deals with his possible ex-girlfriend. It's all done in a very honestly teen way, misguided and a bit hopeless, but with the best of intentions and ultimately success. Everything about Felton is nitty gritty real, from his terrible B.O. to his hopeless dealings with the hottie on his plane and bus. I 100% appreciate a teen character who stays teen in narration, and isn't tarted up as the 20 something god of all things social and beautiful.
All in all Nothing Special was a nice change of pace in the YA category. A great male protagonist, and a fun story. I highly reccomend giving the series a try.
Nothing Special, by Geoff Herbach
Published by Sourcebooks Fire, May 1st, 2012
Buy Nothing Special on Amazon
Because I leave on my BEA bound road trip in just 6 days, Geff Herbach has stopped by today to talk about the top ten things to bring on a roadtrip!
TOP TEN THINGS TO BRING ON A ROAD TRIP
I am always woefully unprepared when I hit the road. Generally I gain a lot of weight from eating truck stop crap and also have to buy supplies along the way, because I’m not a good planner. So, if I were to think about it ahead of time, rather than taking off half-cocked, these are the ten items I would make sure I had:
1. A cooler for my beer. Just kidding. I’d bring a cooler for yogurt and health drinks and for lettuce. I’d also bring some almonds for heart health and some delicious fruit to tide me over until I can hit the next organic co-op along the way.
2. Stretchy pants. After agonizing over how much I don’t like vegetables, I will need to have stretchy pants, because I will likely freak out after a day, and then I’ll eat pizza and sub sandwiches and many bacon cheeseburgers. If I’m in the south, I will eat cheese grits. My jeans will burst and I’ll need stretchy pants.
3. A harmonica. I’ll use this when I’m singing the fat man blues.
4. Several phone chargers. I spill coffee on everything electronic when I’m road tripping. Phone chargers fizzle fast. I’ll likely need a new phone or two, but that’s a risk I’ll take (won’t buy in advance, due to expense).
5. A paper map. Electronics die when you spill coffee. Paper just looks gross. You can still read a map through coffee stains.
6. A Frisbee. My muscles get all knotted up. Nothing feels better than chasing a Frisbee through the winds of some foreign place (if my heart can take it after all the bacon).
7. Mad libs. These are funny for three minutes. The best three minutes of your trip will be spent creating a dirty mad lib.
8. A friend or two. My friend Sam and I went on a two-month book tour a few years ago. We took lots of hilarious pictures in crazy places – like at crazy Niagra Falls – which made the trip seem fun!
9. Underpants. Remember, you will want a change of underpants at some point.
10. A notebook. The truth about road trips is that much time is spent suffering, confused, wishing you were home. I love that. I would rather suffer than be bored. You get to know yourself when you’re uncomfortable. Bring a notebook so you can keep track of your beautiful monkey thoughts.
That sounds about right.
Hmmm, all good tips, but lets not tell my hubby about number 10 hey? He's dreading a road trip and I'm gleefully telling him they're wonderfull. I also told him kittens don't have smelly poohs- I have a habit of being proved wrong.
So now that you're dying to dig into Nothing Special it's GIVEAWAY time! Enter below for your chance to win a copy of Nothing Special, shipping to US or Canadian Addresses. Contest closes on June 14th (when my BEA roadtrip ends!). For extra entries make sure to follow me or otherwise bandy about to your friends and frenemies that they can enter to win themselves!