Stevecrandell's Reviews > Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff
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Oct 02, 10

bookshelves: humor, sports, grades-8-and-up, teen-boys
Read in October, 2010

For the first 100 pages, this seemed like just another smart, funny fast read about a boy who struggles to fit in. High school sophomore Andy Zansky weighs 306.4 pounds. He’s an asthmatic MUN geek, so fat and awkward he’s demoted to slow gym. Even after he returns to the regular class, he knows his limits. “I just stand there on the field with an empty ten-foot-zone around me. It’s like the time I had gas in temple.”

So I laughed, and kept reading, as Andy started making a new name for himself on the football team. As his status with the in-crowd climbs, the questions of who he is, and what he wants, get bigger. He gains pride, wins friends, and watches the best of his old life slough away.

Teenage social stock can change in a moment, and those near the top know how to hold their ground. Andy gets caught in the middle of some very believable and bitter teen turf wars. He’s a pawn, and a very funny witness to his own trauma, and a shining star.
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