Author: Geoff Herbach
Published: June 1st 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Felton Reinstein has suddenly gone from being small, skinny, and being a squirrel nut to this big, really hairy, and now he might possibly be a football player in High School. He can run circles around the honkies (that's what he calls the locals) now that he's stupid fast.
Felton now finds himself in the most peculiar situation. While his best friend is away he is being talked to by the former football players that used to make fun of him and not only that but want to play with him! His friend's house is being rented out and it contains the most beautiful world famous teenage pianist who actually likes him.
The Reinstein household consists of his mom who he has to call by her first name, Jerri. She's the yoga holistic hippie type of person. She's acting even weirder than usual. She's always watching him while he sleeps and scrutinizing his new change. His brother is also a pianist and he's encouraged a lot by Jerri to practice and be with his other nerdy friends. So you got the mother and a brother but where's the dad? The dad's dead. His dad committed suicide and Felton found him. Everything is changing around Felton. Will he lose his best friend? Will he get the girl? Will he become a football player? Or is he destined to stay a squirrel nut all of his life?
I wrote a lot of squirrel nuts in there and you might be wondering what exactly a squirrel nut is. Felton is a squirrel nut. He says the wrong things at the wrong time always. He's also very jumpy and when you read the narrative of his life you wonder if he has ADD. I really didn't see this character coming. When I think of YA Sports books I think of strong personalities but I also think of people like Danny from Mexican Whiteboy. He was quiet but he had this certain strength inside of him. Felton... I found him slow... He even said he thought he might be so I'm not making things up. I seriously felt like he had ADD. So it wasn't what I expected at all. It took me a while to get used to him and even then I really wanted to tell him to calm down.
I did love that he had a "Jew Fro" and would have liked to see it on the cover so I knew exactly what it was. I probably kind of do because since my hair is so curly in my early years I had a "Fro". My brother called it Afro Thunder. God my brother is weird... and coincidentally so is his brother. He's brother has issues... in the beginning he was really jealous of Aleah's talent and preceded to say how much he hates her. He sounded psycho. He got even weirder later on but he had a reason.
Felton's mom goes a little crazy and no one really knows why. His brother is the only one trying to figure it out while he's hanging out with football player friends. He has a couple of new friends including Cody who I absolutely think is the greatest guy. He always has Felton's back and is concerned for his well-being. I wish there was more of him in the story.
Aleah is completely different than Felton. She's very intelligent and has great talent. They make an odd couple. She does act a bit like a kid herself and I like her in the mix of things. She brings balance to him. I honestly didn't like Felton's character too much and I can't help it. I liked the book but his character just killed me sometimes. A lot of people thought he was hilarious in other reviews but to me he was anything but. It was a good read. I just wished I would have connected with his character more.