Monday, 11 April 2016

Review: Fat Kid Rules the World

I want to start this new batch of reviews/recommendations with the book that really changed what YA meant for me.

Fat Kid... opens with Troy, who is so fed up with the way he looks that he's contemplating suicide. Troy isn't just fat, he's morbidly obese and his self esteem is through the floor. Curt, on the other hand, is so skinny he looks malnourished but oozes confidence and flair. He sees something in Troy that other people don't and decides he's the man to be the drummer in his band. The fact that Troy can't play drums doesn't seem to matter, and is pretty reflective on Curt's outlook on life - obstacles are just things to overcome. As the boys' friendship develops, we learn more about Curt, the kind of problems he has to endure, and why he is the way he is.

I want to point out that Fat Kid... is not an "issue" book. Yes, it's about self esteem and finding the real you, but it never feels like it's trying to spoon feed you some politically correct message. It's just a damn fine book. Secondly, it's thirteen years since I first read this. Now, I read books all of the time, and sometimes I look at a book I read just a few weeks back can't remember a thing about it. Fat Kid Rules the World has stayed with me.

The language is raw and honest. It doesn't hold back, but isn't OTT either, allowing both characters come across as genuine without becoming parodies.

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