Rhiannon Ryder's Reviews > Nothing Special

Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach
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Aug 05, 2012

liked it

Right up front let me tell you, this is part two. Nothing Special is the follow up to Stupid Fast, which I quite stupidly didn't realize, making the dive right into the depths of Felton's mind totally disconcerting. Therefore I want to make it known, before I get into the review, I think I was missing a rather large part of what made Nothing Special tick. IE- all the development of Stupid Fast.

Told in letters, dated and timed during a mystery trip you're not sure about until the end, Felton tells the first person narrative of his disasterous summer. It's a crazy adventure, and because of how it's narrated, full of the misadventures of a completely seperate mystery trip, it keeps you guessing about what's going on right up until the end. I found it confusing to follow for the first third of the book or more, but I think that was likely because I was supposed to be already familiar with both Felton and the events from Stupid Fast. I'm gussing it's much more fluid if you've read it in the appropriate order.

Felton has a unique voice, it's wonky and it definately grows on you, again- not likely an issue with readers of Stupid Fast. His bizzare family, and even more bizzare sudden athletic super powers are charming, and I like the juztaposition of the celebrity-jock with the hopelessly odd kid scenario. How he bungs up his celeb-jock moments in a purely weird kid way are amusing and honest, and makes him higly relatable.

But more than anything I like how Felton works out his issues. How he realizes his head was shoved up his backside, the way he discovers his neurosis affects his crazy little brother and the way he deals with his possible ex-girlfriend. It's all done in a very honestly teen way, misguided and a bit hopeless, but with the best of intentions and ultimately success. Everything about Felton is nitty gritty real, from his terrible B.O. to his hopeless dealings with the hottie on his plane and bus. I 100% appreciate a teen character who stays teen in narration, and isn't tarted up as the 20 something god of all things social and beautiful.

All in all Nothing Special was a nice change of pace in the YA category. A great male protagonist, and a fun story. I highly reccomend giving the series a try.

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