Ms. Yingling's Reviews > Nothing Special

Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach
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Jan 15, 13

bookshelves: young-adult
Read on April 23, 2012

Herbach, Geoff. Nothing Special.
After figuring out a few things about himself and his family in Stupid Fast, Felton Reinstein is back. This time, he is in pursuit of his brother Andrew, who is everything Felton is not-- small, musically inclined, and sensitive. Andrew has decided to fake going to band camp and run away to meet his estranged grandfather in Florida. Felton is concerned because he has blown off Andrew's concerts and knows that his reknown as a sports star has shoved Andrew further into the shadows. The book starts with Felton trying to fly to Florida and having difficulty making his connections, so he is writing a long and rambling letter to Aleah, his former girlfriend who is in Germany. It turns out that this is a return trip to Florida-- Felton and his friend Gus had driven down to find Andrew once, but after a disastrous meeting with his grandfather, Felton returned home so that his mother Jerri wouldn't worry too much. The two trips run parallel to each other in the book, and we find out more and more about Felton, Andrew and their complicated family relationship.
Strengths: For boys who liked An Abundance of Katherines, or just like the idea of being off on their own in a car, this is a great book. There are lots of funny moments, and a decent amount of grossness (sweat and manure smells play a large part in the book.)
Weaknesses: I found the descriptions of the two trips occurring at the same time to be somewhat confusing, and since I have little patience for travel that doesn't go as planned, Felton's flight delays made me kind of itchy. This is more of a young adult book in that there is more of a voyage of self discovery than most middle school boys have patience for. Nothing blows up.
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