Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Be Manly” as Want to Read:
How to Be Manly
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Be Manly

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  19 reviews
When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to get in shape and get the girl. Summer goals: lose the milkshake weight, join the football team, and turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.

But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pa
Paperback, 1st edition
Published September 16th 2014 by Giant Squid Books (first published September 5th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Be Manly, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Maureen Wanket I know that I as a reader enjoy reading stories about male characters. Matty's struggle to grow up and decide what kind of person he wants to be is un…moreI know that I as a reader enjoy reading stories about male characters. Matty's struggle to grow up and decide what kind of person he wants to be is universal. I know that my high school students as readers don't care about the gender of main characters when they are looking for something to read. For most readers, the story is the thing. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  19 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Be Manly
Anna Carolyn McCormally
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We at GSB are so excited for this book! It is laugh-out-loud funny and miss-your-bus-stop riveting.

Matt is a hilarious narrator. His infatuation with the unattainable Cassie is sad and sweet and his obliviousness to others who care about him is really on point. And his first football practice had me laughing and groaning.

With Matt's story Maureen O'Leary Wanket tells of the "typical" high school experience while managing to communicate how, when you're a high schooler, everything that happens to
Daniel Douglas
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Author Maureen O'Leary Wanket provides readers with humorous and tearful insights into teenager issues, concerns, and struggles in her YA novel, How to Be Manly.

The book’s central character, Matthew “Matty” Sullivan, is an overweight high school student trying to fit in. The people filling up Matty’s surroundings are either a blessing or a curse to him and the story details his attempt to navigate – and survive – this environment.

One of those positive blessings comes in the form of a self-help b
Cinthia Ritchie
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Maureen O'Leary Wanket's How to be Manly and I can't shut up about how warm and funny it is, how wonderful and real.
For what is it about a good YA novel that is so captivating, so endearing, so emotionally tender?
Whatever the case, O'Leary perfectly captures both the innocence and bravado of adolescence in 16-year-old Matty Sullivan (oh, oh, Matty, you are such a dear!).
Matty is overweight, and the book opens in the Hefty Boy section of a department store, where he's struggling t
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"How to be Manly" is a fantastic coming of age story. When faced with the prospect of another summer being the fat kid, Matt seizes the chance to change his life. Rising to the challenge of summer school, changing friendships, and a father who is more stranger than family, a boy finds himself turning into the young man he couldn't imagine being. Touching, challenging, and very real, "How to be Manly" is an amazing reminder of the challenges we all face moving out of childhood especially when it ...more
Lynn Holland
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How to Be Manly by Maureen O'Leary Wanket provides a delightful journey through the teenage life of Matty Sullivan. Matty’s wit and perceptions offer humor and insights that Mrs. Wanket presents through commendable writing and characterization. The story reflects the author’s clearly true understanding of teenager struggles. There are many enjoyable moments in How to Be Manly, including one in particular that involved Santa Clause. Very memorable!
Kayla (The Thousand Lives)
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
So do you all remember my resolution that I wouldn't accept any more review copies until I cleared my NetGalley queue? Yeah, neither do I. And I'm so glad I ignored it, because How to Be Manly was definitely worth breaking that ban! I've got a soft spot for coming of age stories, and this one was a sweet, hilarious, and heart-string-pulling little book that I blew through in just under three hours. I couldn't put it down, despite the fact that I was also in the middle of reading two other books. ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not sure if I'm doing a full review, but this could change!

I loved the humorous moments in this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by how serious the book got as well. Matty is a great narrator and I definitely became emotionally invested in what happened to him. It was a fun read, and I think I might even recommend it to my younger brother (which is saying something -- he's pretty picky with what he reads).
Dorothy Rice
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this though I rarely read YA. The story and characters are engaging and well drawn. I was quickly invested in the outcome, stayed up too late to finish it and was not disappointed. Perhaps most importantly, for me, it's a book with a ton of heart. Well done.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A really fun and engaging coming of age story. Though the pitfalls that await the protagonist can sometimes seem like overkill, it's a super fun read anyway.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This review first appeared on my blog: What Happened to the Wallflower?

Cover-Overall, I'd say the cover is simple. The simplicity works, though: handwreitten type, along witht he basic "messy-ness" kind of all play into this theme of the main character, Matthew, wanting to go from (basically) "slob guy"? Basically.

Money on the bottom corner, doughnut plus crumbs (off-topic, but I've been craving a doughnut for about three weeks, now. Not quite sure why). It all plays in. Even what I'm g
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this because i wanted to read something similar to Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.
0. Rate: 3.5~4
1. writing is 5/5 maybe because it was the main’s character POV but i loved the writing.
2. the story flow was good, the ending was rushed, i felt like there were some missing chapters on how Matt & Jessica just became a couple out of nowhere.
3. i wish there was more about matt daily life, like visiting jester’s grave or something.
4. i didn’t see it coming that the neighbour was a the guy’s d
Becky Willis
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am really happy to be able to do a "How to Be Manly" Book Review by Maureen O'Leary Wanket. When I started reading it, I could tell it was going to be a smooth read. The picture that was painted of Matt and his Grandma was believable and easy to become a part of. So many teenagers out there go through the exact same types of situations as Matt. Allowing your son or daughter the availability of reading "How to Be Manly" would be a great ideas; just as "Are You There God, it's Me Margaret" was t ...more
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book needs to sit on the shelf of every middle school and high school library. Fatty Matty is truly a hero, facing his demons head-on in the forms of friends, teammates, and family. The character Jester is so vile--the kind of kid a mother forbids her son from bringing home--yet his story is real and it tugs at your heartstrings. Matty's goal to win the heart of the beautiful girl reminds me of the After School Specials when I was a kid. Passion, action, and danger all keep the pages turnin ...more
Shelley Blanton-Stroud
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really, really like this YA novel. The main character, a sweet, lonely high school boy--Fatty Matty--is trying to reinvent himself as someone with more than two friends and maybe even a girlfriend. He turns to an old paperback self-help book by a former professional football player to remake himself, not just physically. He aims to be a good person. And he is. Though there is trouble in this book, as there needs to be, it is good to read about basically decent kids and adults doing the best th ...more
Katrina Roets
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Young Adult books aren't usually something that come across my desk, but when they do, I'm sure to make sure they get read because I'm always looking for good books to try to entice my teens to read. This is one that I'm sure they'd enjoy. It's funny, serious and entirely relatable. It has sports, family life and life lessons. It took very little effort for me to see this story unfolding in my head and the writing flowed in such a way that it was a very easy and enjoyable read. I'd say it's perf ...more
Steven Kirk
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

This was a really good coming of age book. I read this book in two sittings because I could not wait to see what happened to Matthew next. The book makes you feel like you are right beside Matty as he copes with issues that are affecting him and his family during the summer months. Well written and definitely enjoyable and fun.
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a terrific read. As a heartfelt story with a cunningly crafted plot, book succeeds both artistically and mechanically. Four stars instead of five because there were quite a few spelling and punctuation errors.
Zachary Levy
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I won it in a contest here in goodreads and I couldn't wait to read it, so I also purchased it on Amazon. This book is so relatable. I myself and close to matty's age and where I'm not over weight I can relate to a lot of the situations that he is in. I highly recommend it.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2014
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2014
rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2014
Denise Weigand
rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2014
rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2016
rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Purchase links 7 24 Oct 23, 2014 11:48AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add cover 3 29 Jul 08, 2014 02:30PM  
Maureen O'Leary lives in Sacramento, California. She is the author of How to Be Manly, published by Giant Squid Books and The Arrow through Geminid Press.

Her short fiction has appeared in Esopus, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Prick of the Spindle, The Gold Man Review, Night Train Journal, and in Shade Mountain Press' anthology The Female Complaint.


Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
36 likes · 54 comments