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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,936 ratings  ·  322 reviews
Fourteen-year-old Stark McClellan (nicknamed Stick because he’s tall and thin) is bullied for being “deformed” – he was born with only one ear. His older brother Bosten is always there to defend Stick. But the boys can’t defend one another from their abusive parents.

When Stick realizes Bosten is gay, he knows that to survive his father's anger, Bosten must leave home. Stic
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends (first published October 10th 2011)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,936 ratings  ·  322 reviews

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Ash Wednesday
"You're dumb, Bosten."
I pushed him back.
I love my brother.
"Okay." And then he said, "I wish I wasn't like this."
You're the luckiest and best person in the world, Bosten."
"I can't live with dad anymore."
"I know."

Some books bitchslap you with sentimentality, some punch you in the boobs with longing and heartbreak, some books feel like a good one-night stand that leaves you with the disgusting aftertaste of regret, self-loathing and the fear of herpes… okay, I think I'm
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
“It’s just…well, it’s ugly”
She shrugged. “I don’t think so. I think it’s cool. Everyone else is so…the same. You know?

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I need a cuddle.

High Points.
Stick. Bosten. Emily. Strength. Brothers. Talking through pipes. Best friends. Being different. Catching crabs. Anotia. Bubble baths. Jock straps. Surfing. Breaking out. Milkshakes. UFOs. Beanies. Playing California.

Low Points.
I wasn’t all that fussed with Stick’s road trip. What I really liked about this book was that
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been rattling around my head for months. I could not get my feelings down on paper. The words were stuck. I might sound a little “off my rocker” nuts here, but….I did not want to disappoint these characters. Crazy, right? I wanted to use just the right words to describe how much these characters affected my world. Stick, Bosten, Emily, and Buck were so well drawn and layered with such love and strength. They amazed me, inspired me, and left a giant hole in my heart! Here I am mon ...more
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing

"Heartbreak" - that's how they call it.
This is how I feel now, this is what this book might cause to you too.
It should come with a note saying: 'open at your own risk' or 'put your heart aside because it might shatter'.
It should come with a happy pill for you to take, it should come with Stick and Bosten in a cute package - such that you could take them in your arms and hold them close to your heart, such that you could hug their pain away.
Oh, this story is really sad... No no no.. 'Sad' is
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I work in a bookstore, which means I am pretty much surrounded by book snobs (and I mean that in the nicest way possible, I swear). My particular department is kids books, so I hear all kinds of derogatory comments about books written for people under the age of 18. Most of these comments are disguised as jokes, but they're the kind of joke that the teller actually believes. Also, they aren't funny. Now me, I love books. I've read picture books that are works of art (Shaun Tan, anyone?), I've re ...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead

Stick is an abused teen. His parents are controlling, unloving, physically and mentally abusive. While Stick could react by being angry, bitter, mean and abusive himself, instead he is kind, gentle, loving, and he cherishes the small acts of kindness that neighbors, friends and others give to him.

Stick still suffers from those horrible growing pains from child to teen. His "growing" attraction to all things female, made me laugh. Stick's desire to try out scenes from a stolen Penthouse magazine
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It’s a simple fact that it’s easier to write a bad review than a good one. When something doesn’t work, you can usually figure out what it is that’s broken down. When something works seamlessly…well, there are no rough edges to pick apart, no gaping plot holes to point towards, no awkward characters to take umbrage with.

Which is a round-about way of saying that it is a special kind of challenge to review a 5-star book. One of those books that stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, arc, signed
Wow. Guys. I think we all pretty much know my thoughts about Andrew Smith, right? Kinda on the verge of stalker-ish-ness-ism. (or whatever) Nah. Actually the truth is, Andrew Smith is the very first writer that I've EVER connected with. Yeah, on that level. (I'm not talking to you if you have no idea what I even mean here.) I have read and collected all of Andrew's books and anxiously await the next in line. Andrew's newest release, STICK, (October 11, 2011 Feiwel and Friends) was absolutely no ...more
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Fourteen-year-old Stark McClellan - nicknamed Stick because of his height - looks up to his older brother Bosten; unlike Stick, Bosten has two ears and knows how to fight back against the bullies at school. But both Bosten and Stick suffer at the hands of their abusive parents. After visiting their Aunt Delilah in California and getting a taste of freedom, the two boys realize that their family life differs from the typical familial dynamics of their peers. Bosten runs away when his fat
Kaje Harper
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 Stars, maybe 4.5

This is an interesting and involving YA story. Stick, whose real name is Stark, is a young, tall teenager with a missing ear who feels alienated from most of the kids around him, other than his friend Emily. As the story opens, Stick finds himself on the cusp of many changes both internal, in how he feels about Emily and how he reacts to other people, and in the events occurring in his life. He and his older brother Bosten live with abusive parents. His mother is mostly cold, d
Jen  Bigheart
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Cruelty and ugliness is something Stark lives with daily. He thinks his deformity, a missing ear, is ugly but that is nothing when you compare it to his parents. Thirteen-year-old Stark and his older brother Bosten have been dealt the Piece of Crap Parent card. Their parents aren't just mean, they are downright cruel. Very early on we know the boys' parents aren't exactly Mike and Carol Brady. There are hints of abuse very early on and by page thirty-seven, we know that their father is militant ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it

It read like the Perks of Being a Wallflower but had me reeling the same way I did with Smith's Marburry Lens after that kidnap-grope scene. This one had me angry and hurting for all of them, all at once... particularly the first half. The jump into the second half had me reeling for other reasons though. Specifically, where had Dahlia been all their lives? That alone had me a little bi more angry. To think of all the things they'd gone through with such horrible people! When all the while
Cathy Blackler
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Smith has done it again: penned a compelling tale about the power of love. Stark and Bosten McClellan have secrets; secrets that are capable of destroying them both. Holding on to hope and the love for his brother, Stark "Stick" sets out on a journey to heal them both. I'll wait until closer to this book's release date to comment further. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to read the ARC and cannot wait to put this gripping story into the hands of my students ...more
Jason White
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Nicely written book. I really enjoyed it!

The format on the kindle was off a little with big spaces at times in the middle of sentences which made it difficult to read. For a $10 ebook I wouldn't expect these types of problems.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I mostly loved it: beautiful writing, some great characters, but a few situations/references felt a little clunky. Recommended though, and proud to have it as our 2016 Read Brave book.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and wished I had more time to form my review. This book is one of those books that really get to you. Like gets under your skin and you can't shake it kind of book. The characters are written so well it's like they are your friends or family members and every thing they went through you felt deep down to your core.

Bosten and Stark (he likes to be called Stick because he is so tall and skinny) they are brothers and Stick was born with his ear missing. He gets bullied a lot in sc
Angelica Felix
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stick by Andrew Smith a book full of adventure and mixed emotions on one another is the way to describe this text. Stick was published by Macmillan, New York, NY in September of 2011. This book is for people that feel apart from people because of the way you are, or the way you seem to be towards others. Stick is the main character of this text and he will show and connect to people that have a hard life inside and outside of their house and how he feels about being different from everyone else ...more
Joe Lunievicz
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Stick came out today, a new novel by Andrew Smith, the author of Ghost Medicine, In the Path of Falling Objects, and The Marbury Lens. These are three of my favorite books, each for different reasons but more than anything they are three books about the relationships young men have with each other, and more specifically, brothers. Stick is similar in that it explores this territory, Andrew Smith territory, but it is, like each of Andrew's other books, different.

Synopsis from Amazon: Fourteen-yea
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stick by Andrew Smith has changed my perspective on what it can be like to not be loved in your own home. Stick was published by Square Fish and Macmillian in New York, NY in September 2015. It can take you on a roller coaster with many loops. You'll feel like everything is going smooth for Stark, and then BOOM! Everything at once hits you again. No matter how much you try to put the book down you just can't. There are some hard subjects to face, you keep reading no matter the outcome because it ...more
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's always a day for celebration when a new Andrew Smith novel comes out. Andrew's books are among the most well-written, compelling books I've ever read and are filled with characters that worm their way into your heart and demand to be noticed.

STICK by Andrew Smith (Feiwel & Friends, October 11, 2011)

I got hooked on Andrew's books last year with THE MARBURY LENS which was like a crazy thrill ride I'm normally too scared to go on at amusement parks. But books are so much safer to me, and I de
Kellee Moye
4.5 stars
This is a book about a boy. His name is Stark, but everyone calls him Stick on account of his height. He is a boy just trying to survive all the stuff that makes being a boy hard including being bullied because he has one ear and trying to figure out what sex and girls means to him. On top of all of the normal boy stuff, he has a home life which includes being beat on a weekly basis. However, he finds solitude in his time with Emily, his best friend, and Bosten, his brother. This book i
BrandiLee Dornburg
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stick By Andrew Smith (published by first Macmillian, New York, NY in 2011) Is a very emotional and horrifying read. 13 year old Stark McClellan and his brother, 16 year old Bosten McClellan have an unordinary life that no teenage boy should ever have to live.

Stark McClellan also known as “Stick” is 6ft tall and only has one ear. He isn't your average 13 year old boy, but with the protection of his older brother Bosten, he has nothing to worry about. Stick idolizes Bosten. He keeps his deepest
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i'm sure if i'd finished this book at, like, 3am alone in my room i would be crying my eyes out. but as it is it's 4pm and i'm next to my parents trying to keep it all in. fuck, this was an emotional rollercoaster.
i fell in love with stick and bosten's brothers dynamic instantly. the story took so many turns in different directions i never knew what to expect next, and i was always expecting the worst. that still didn't prepare me.
i just need every character in this to be okay, please? (except
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked it I thought it was interesting and the story was so good I had a hard time putting it down. I fell in love with the characters and it was also interesting to see the romance going on with stick and how he juggled Kimmy and Emily because he seemed to love them both and find that because of them things were changing. I also liked that he was willing to do anything for his brother even if that ment running away from home and going to LA.
B.A. Wilson
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, lgbtqia, contemporary
I need a hug.

And I love Andrew Smith, because the way he writes is so insanely honest that I always connect with his stories, whether they're straightforward and more serious, like this, or bizarre and stylized like Grasshopper Jungle.

He writes characters who carve holes inside my chest, then take up residence in the empty spaces.
Shaun Hutchinson
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'll post a review of this amazing book closer to the release date. ...more
Jessica Bell
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary. Full stop.
Kristina Sanchez
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stick by Andrew Smith (published by Macmillan in New York, NY in October 2011) is a nail biting, finger tapping, body shaking, and air gasping fictional novel written to draw you in like sea waves and, if you're lucky, return you to shore nervous to test the waters again. Stick is forward, blunt, honest, has no filter, and is overall real. Some may even question the reality of the memories and events.
Stark “Stick” McClellan is the voice of Stick. Stick is a thirteen year old boy who eventuall
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good, I was doing my Lamaze breathing during some parts because they were exquisitely written, yet incredibly painful and dark.

This book will haunt me for a long time, but that's okay because I've never read anything quite like it. The characters are so well-formed, my heart so invested in their actions, I so desperately wanted to meet them and hug or stab them, accordingly.

Stark's devotion to his brother and his determination to navigate through the hell of his life, while at
Pages For Thoughts
I must say- Stark is only 14. Stark was forced to grow up way too soon and learn to take care of himself. I had to constantly remind myself that he's only 14, which makes this tale even sadder and more infuriating. The level of responsibility on his shoulders is way too much for anyone. To say this book is emotional is a vast understatement. He has so much piled on him, but somehow he manages to keep a clear head and maintain a positive outlook. Stark would be an amazing role model for everybody ...more
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OSU Marion 3356 S...: Realistic Fiction- Stick 2 3 May 06, 2016 11:46AM  
YA LGBT Books: September BotM - Stick *spoilers* 5 75 Sep 12, 2012 07:46AM  
Early Review 2 16 Apr 21, 2011 06:54PM  

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Andrew Smith is the author of Winger, Grasshopper Jungle, The Alex Crow, 100 Sideways Miles, and Rabbit & Robot, among others. Exile from Eden: Or, After the Hole, the long-awaited sequel to Grasshopper Jungle, is coming from Simon & Schuster on September 24, 2019.

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“It was like watching my house catch fire, but I couldn't look away, because how many times do you ever get to see a house burn down?” 1 likes
“I drive at night.
I blow things up.
I have anotia.
And long hair.
Now go away,

More quotes…