Lindsey's Reviews > Fat Kid Rules the World

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
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Feb 01, 08

bookshelves: teen, guy-friendly, humorous
Recommended for: high school boys/girls
Read in January, 2008

Troy Billings is an overweight, unhappy seventeen-year-old contemplating suicide when a dirty, skinny stranger distracts him. The teenager identifies himself as Curt MacCrae, a local high school legend and phenomenal musician. Troy is fascinated by Curt’s strange behavior, and drawn to him out of awe for his talent and also because Troy doesn’t have any friends. Curt convinces Troy to join his band, even though he hardly knows how to play the drums. Troy is sure Curt will dump him, but against all odds and in spite of Troy’s urging to the contrary, Curt is determined to be Troy’s friend and teach him to play the drums. But Curt has problems of his own; he is basically homeless and seems to be addicted to drugs. Troy knows he has to do something, or Curt will die, but he is afraid he will lose his only friend and the purpose and direction he has found as a member of a punk band.

K.L. Goings does an impressive job of depicting the emotional, physical, and social difficulties of being an overweight teenager. Fat Kid Rules the World is a quick read with a lot of humor that is equally funny and heartbreaking. There is frequent cursing, which is why I have recommended it for senior high only. Overall the theme is a typical one, a teenager trying to find their place and voice, but I enjoyed the change in scenery via punk band instead of through a boyfriend/girlfriend or sports. I also though Going’s treatment of a teenager struggling with addiction was honest, only simplifying the seriousness of the disease just a little. Overall a very enjoyable read for boys and girls.
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