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Henry "Biggie" Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ’s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad's footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?

272 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2015

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About the author

Derek E. Sullivan

1 book29 followers
Derek E. Sullivan is an award-winning reporter and columnist. As a reporter, he has written more than 1,000 stories about the lives of teenagers, which he attributes to helping him find his YA voice. He has an MFA from Hamline University and lives in Nebraska with his wife and three sons.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,415 reviews7,425 followers
February 13, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

A book about Biggie? I love Biggie . . .

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Wait, what?

Turns out this book was about a different big fella - a high schooler named Henry Abbott (or "Biggie" to everyone in his small Iowa town). Biggie wants what most other high school boys want - to make it through school without being ridiculed, to be valedictorian, to get into the college of his choice, and to get the girl. Getting the grades comes easy for Biggie. Getting through high school by being invisible was a bit harder, being that he's more than 6 feet tall and weighs over 300 pounds, but by sitting at the back of the room and never speaking Biggie has managed to keep people from teasing him as well. Getting the girl is nearly impossible, since she's in love with the jockiest jock in school and Biggie's wooing secrets involve just a bit of creepy cyberstalking. At 17, Biggie decides it's finally time to make a change. Not only to his outward appearance, but also to his personality. He's going to get fit, get a spot on the baseball team, and get the girl.

This is one of those lose/lose books for a YA author. Warning: Biggie acts like a 17 year old kid (well, actually even younger because he's socially inept). If you're a grown up, there's a good chance he'll annoy you. (However, if he would have been "oh so mature" there would have been another group complaining that he wasn't a realistic YA character. See? Lose/Lose.) I fell in love with Biggie. He was so unsure of himself, and so not realistic with his expectations, and he just reminded me so much of another chubby fella I adore that my heart constantly went out to him (even though my hands sometimes wanted to wring his neck!) . . .

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I could totally picture a young Ethan Suplee playing Biggie, even though Biggie was considerably more intelligent than most of Suplee's characters . . .

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One more warning: There's also a lot of baseball in this story. If you're not a fan of sportsball stories, once again you might find yourself put off by this one. Me? I spend my summers doing this . . .

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and this . . .

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Well, okay, I really spend my summers doing a lot of this . . .

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but what the kids don't know, won't hurt 'em ; )

I loved this book. It showed that if " you want something in life, you have to earn it " and sometimes even though you put in the work, you still don't get everything you want. It also gave a great lesson of perception not always being reality.

"It's a cold, lonely feeling when you realize that the person in the mirror is the villain in the story. This is the guy. This guy, now five feet from me, stalked a girl online, ignored and shut out classmates, lied to his mother on a daily basis, looked down on his stepfather, and threw his little brother up against the wall, just for telling me to support my teammates."

I love a good redemption arc! Almost as I love the Notorious B.I.G. Speaking of, time to wrap this up and listen to some hot jamz . . .

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Profile Image for Paula M.
547 reviews643 followers
March 5, 2015
I have always enjoyed books about outsiders or underdogs. I guess its because they're very relatable and most of them have the funniest voice/monologue. They also do a great job of voicing out the thoughts of readers who has been on the same situation. Biggie/Henry is not an exception. Its amazing that even though I'm not a 'fat' person like Henry is and even though I'm not a guy, I totally felt for Henry. He's totally relatable as a teen.

Henry or 'BIGGIE' to others is someone you would like as a friend. While reading the book, I was wishing for one thing: for Biggie to be real and for him to magically appear at my side to be my best friend. He's funny. He's realistically written. And he's absolutely likeable. Derek Sullivan did a great job of writing a character that appeals to every reader. He's not perfect. In fact, Henry can be stupid and jerk sometimes. Its kind of infuriating to read when he's letting himself down but I can't help but sympathize. I know all of us have done that.

The romance was adorable and a bit surprising. Thumbs up for not sticking to the cliche romance plots that I've read in so many YA books already. The only downside of this book, FOR ME, is the baseball aspects which is pretty much half of the book since Henry is very good at it. Anyway, despite my lack of knowledge on that department, I still enjoyed all the new information I got by reading BIGGIE.

I really enjoyed Biggie and it took me by surprise by how poignant it is. Its about loving and accepting yourself despite the ugly and bad things that people are telling you. Its about letting yourself shine and enjoy life despite the ugliness that comes with it. Biggie is provocative, meaningful and perfect for every outsiders, underdogs and for teens who is having a hard time going through all the crap bad things that high school is throwing their way. I absolutely recommend it!!!
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
December 21, 2014

I didn't want this story to end, I could read about Biggie for days on end. I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book, but what I got was a funny, engaging and honest story about an outsider just trying to fit in. I loved Biggie's internal dialogue, and while I am not a huge baseball fan, I found myself cheering at the games and becoming absorbed by the world of baseball. I had a lot of fun reading this book and would recommend. 4/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennie.
323 reviews72 followers
August 26, 2018
I don't care how often you have been bullied, there is nothing fun or charming about a guy who hacks into girls' email accounts and remakes himself to be her "ideal" guy. Or who shows up at a girl's door, after ignoring her for months, and gets mad that she has a date. Or who tells that girl that her date only wants her for sex (but he doesn't! He's a nice guy!).

Biggie is the ultimate Nice Guy (tm), where he will do or say anything to get into a girl's pants, but when the girls don't fall all over themselves to compliment him on how wonderful he is, he gets mad. Same with baseball: he'll kill himself to lose weight and get on the baseball team, but when he's not a starting pitcher, he rage quits. All of the guys he knows are jerks and they treat women badly (but not him!).

This book was actually painful to read. Not because it's badly written or because I think Derek E. Sullivan doesn't realize that his protagonist's behavior is terrible -- it's painful because as a teenager, I dealt with many of these guys, and I didn't have the words to explain why their behavior wasn't acceptable.

In the end, Biggie has a cursory "Oh, I'm an asshole!" moment -- but it's not satisfying when you've just read 250 pages of him stalking girls and judging everyone. Especially because he gets a happy ending instead of consequences.

Sullivan is an engaging writer (otherwise I never would have finished the book) but this book was not for me.
Profile Image for Ann M. Noser.
Author 6 books131 followers
April 10, 2015
Just to be clear, I received this book from the author during a junior high school presentation that I organized this spring. I'm not claiming I know the author well, but he has a fabulous rapport with kids in that age group. He worked the room like magic, making the students yell out guesses to his questions in order to win Kit Kat bars. So, besides being a great author he's a good enough guy to drive from MN to WI to help inspire the young.

Although I really appreciated his help that day, and also appreciated the book, this does not affect my review. I'm a pretty honest person, because lies are just annoying.

But enough about Kit Kats. Let's talk about the book.
LOVED it. It's a fun, fast read. Pacing is fabulous. Voice is pitch-perfect (yes, that's a bit of a pun--aren't I hilarious?).
And don't worry. You don't have to like baseball to enjoy this book. I don't know much of anything about baseball (except the players seem to have a little less trouble with the law than football and basketball players do, but I digress...) and I found myself quite interested in the descriptions of ball play.
This book provides good lessons on family dysfunction, and pursuing your dreams--and, most important of all, knowing when to change your mind about what your dreams should be.
I ripped through this book.
It totally bugged me when, at lunch today, I couldn't finish and had to wait until tonight to find out what happened.

The biggest surprise was that at times I felt like I was Biggie.
Okay, he's 6'2" and "north of three hundred pounds" and I'm 5'2" and... well, none of your business but comfortably less than half that--but, still, some of his inner thoughts made a lot of sense to me. I don't want to quote him because it's later on in the book, and I'm not a fan of spoilers.

Let's just say that Biggie was very real to me.

If you're on the fence about picking up this book, I suggest you stop stalling and JUST DO IT. (Yes, the Nike swoosh, another reference to the book)

Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Profile Image for Veronica of V's Reads.
1,528 reviews41 followers
February 17, 2015
Biggie is a book about loving one's self, even when it's far easier to hate one's self.

Henry "Biggie" Abbott is a high school junior in Finch, Iowa--a town of roughly 1000. He is the illegitimate son of baseball phenom Aaron Abbott, conceived while Aaron was still in high school. Aaron left behind his sweetheart and child, legally disavowing any claim to Biggie before he'd even turned 1. Biggie is, well, BIG. He's over 6 feet tall, and weighs more than 300 pounds.

Here's why:
How did I get this way? Or a better question: why have I let myself grow to over 300 pounds? Simply put: Now I'm invisible. Funny isn't it? The more I weigh, the less people ride me about it.

See, growing up as Abbott's son, even disavowed, wasn't that great. Everyone expected Biggie to be a great athlete, and he has an excruciating fear of failure. He is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and a perfect GPA. Especially since he forges notes to keep out of gym class. But, this year, his mother has thwarted those plans. Biggie is going to take gym, even if it kills him. Of course the first day, Biggie does something extraordinary. He throws a perfect game in Whiffleball. Then, he promptly faints. His doctor isn't pleased, and Biggie's physical sends his mother into tears--Biggie, too, as he's possibly suffering Type 2 Diabetes.

The only answer is for Biggie to get fit--and his half-brother, Maddux, is keen to work with Biggie on his pitching, maybe turn his instinctive knuckleball into an unhittable pitch. Maddux and his father, Laser, have been on the baseball circuit forever. Laser was semi-pro and took Maddux on the road with him. But Laser has decided to hang up his cleats and coach the Finch high school team, so he's home to witness, and assist, Biggie's transformation from bedroom-bound shut-in to baseball player.

Biggie's reasons for the transformation: to catch the eye of Annabelle Rivers, a girl in Finch he has cyber stalked for years. To please Maddux. To make himself healthy enough that his mother stops thinking he's going to die. To throw a perfect game.

It's an interesting transformation because this is not only physical work, Biggie has to overcome his crippling shyness and grow out of his father's famous shadow. It's a small town, and here baseball reigns supreme. Biggie starts slowly, changing his diet and walking daily with Laser, until he can begin running daily and practicing. Laser is patient, and persistent, guiding Biggie in the physical steps--which I loved. That man never let Biggie down, even when Biggie couldn't get past his own self-hate. Biggie drops the weight, which puts him out of the danger zone for diabetes, but, when it comes to baseball, Biggie can't bring himself to play. His team needs him, but Biggie is so steeped in "perfection" that he's too afraid to not be perfect on the field. It's an impossible scenario that this kid could miraculously be the best player ever, on account of him not playing baseball, ever. And Biggie recognizes this, and he loses faith. Plus, he's aggravated by personal issues with teammates--especially the cheating baseball star dating Annabelle.

Thing is, Biggie has talent. It's raw and it's powerful, but it isn't perfect. And when Biggie begins to love himself, and consider that "perfect" isn't necessarily the healthiest frame of mind, he actually starts to have an almost-perfect life.

I really enjoyed this. Biggie felt very real to me. He is an honest character, which is funny since he lies to everyone but the reader. He owns his issues, and gains real insight to a building a better life, with friends and even a girlfriend. A real one, not the cyber-girls he juggles online. His relationship with his parents improves, and I think that he ends this journey far happier than how he started. I had a little issue with the timeline--only because it seems that Iowa high schools begin baseball season when every other state is wrapping up theirs. So, that didn't quite ring true. The interactions with the boys, however, was spot on--even if getting trashed and driving the backroads is not excellent, this is very likely how these rural boys passed their time.
Profile Image for Erin Lynn.
335 reviews79 followers
March 22, 2015
I read a galley edition of this book that was kindly provided from the publisher through NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

This review was originally posted on The Hardcover Lover.

Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan is a very respectable debut novel about an overweight teenage boy name Henry. Unfortunately for Henry, his size has made his peers call him Biggie, so that's what everyone calls him. In my opinion Sullivan does a good job at capturing the emotional aspect of what it's like to be overweight/obese as a teenager. (I was overweight as a teenager, and it's no picnic.) The book isn't as emotional as I thought it would be but instead, it has a lighthearted humor that captures readers. It's definitely worth a read, especially if you are looking for a book told from the male perspective.

The main character, Biggie (Henry) is definitely an odd character. While reading, I had to shake my head a lot just because of how strange Biggie is. Don't get me wrong... he's interesting and unique, but if he were at my school, I probably wouldn't be friends with him because he's a little freaky. As with all weird kids, there is a story to Biggie that explains some of his odd habits, and eventually, he becomes understandable. I did grow to like him a lot more as the book progressed, and by the end of the book, I probably would have been Biggie's friend. It's all about getting to know a person, right? Well it's all about getting to know Biggie in the case of this book.

The other characters in the book are basically your typical high school kids. Biggie finds himself becoming friends with the jocks, so you get to see what he thinks of them and their popular friends. Even though Biggie is quiet and doesn't talk much to his peers, you'll see him break through his shell and eventually form friendships with these characters. They are Killer, Jet, Kyle, Annabelle, and a few college girls. While reading, you'll meet and learn a little about Biggie's mom, but you will get to know his stepfather and half-brother a little better.

There is one moment, at the end of the book, that made me want to go in and slap a character. I don't want to spoil anyone, but it's just so heartbreaking and sad for Biggie. That one moment really made me think about the emotional aspect of broken families. Sullivan earned all of my respect for including such a sad, but real and truthful moment.

Biggie is an enjoyable read. There were a few times that I questioned some of the medical aspects of the book, especially when Biggie says that he "beat diabetes," but if you look past that and focus on the baseball driven and coming of age plot, it's pretty darn good. The novel is a fresh story in contemporary YA, and I am looking forward to more books from Sullivan in the future.
Profile Image for Filipe.
280 reviews67 followers
March 22, 2015
Henry Abbott , or as everyone calls him , Biggie is the main character of this story , he weighs more than 300 pounds and is the son of one of the most famous athletes on Iowa , does he feel bad about it ? No. And he shouldn’t because his father left him when he was younger.

Biggie is one of the best characters I’ve read about ever because I strongly connected to him, he’s a super smart perfectionist boy that prefers getting good grades instead of doing a good game.

I related so much with his character because he spends most of his night talking with people online and he’s that type of boy that sits at the back of the classroom and doesn’t talk to anyone. The way he sees it is , if a kid stands there and keeps his mouth shut , he deserves an A (oh Biggie , you’re not alone) .

Most of the secondary characters are all people that make fun of Biggie, and he made sure of being obese for people to leave him alone, but there’s one girl called Annabelle and that’s the only girl that he has eyes for.

The writing on this book is what it made it fantastic, it is so well done and contains some slang of nowadays, which I think is totally original and brave . I loved that the author can be so funny naturally and describes it to a point where you can imagine the whole book as a movie being shown on your brain as you read. I love those types of books.

I’ll leave you here with some of my favorite funny quotes: “The words just come out like there’s a man inside of me working my vocal cords. Maybe that’s why I’m so fat; someone is living inside of me.” ; It’s been two months since I’ve been to Molly’s . To be honest, I’m shocked the place is still open without my daily food purchases.” This is just a little sample of the author’s humorous writing that will make you laugh out loud.

Overall, I gave this book 4.5/5 stars and I wish that this book was more known , I guess that’s my job now :D I hope for the best for the author and everyone should read this amazing debut novel.

Profile Image for Sawyer Lovett.
Author 2 books45 followers
January 10, 2015
Henry "Biggie" Abbot is the son of his hometown's baseball star. He's also a grossly overweight nerd who spends most of his time talking to strangers on the internet. All of that changes when he pitched a no-hitter in gym class and he falls in love. Going out for the baseball team means more than changin his diet and exersise routine. It means joining a team and giving up the pretense of not caring about the opinions of his peers. Will he pitch a no-hitter? Will his father acknowledge him? Will he get the girl? Sullivan's skillful writing makes it impossible for you not to root for Biggie.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,042 reviews118 followers
August 28, 2016
"I learned that Friday that you didn't need to be touched to get tagged."
Received this at Bea Chicago 2016 and met the author. He signed my book and everything became alright with the world.
Reading the last couple pages of this book and the main character picks up a book. I had to re-read it a few times before I see what is actually staring up at me from the pages. My favorite author Palahniuk and my favorite book Fight Club. Mother of all fucks, I'm in heaven.
Henry is a high school junior, over six feet tall and over three hundred pounds. His nickname fits perfectly well, Biggie. It seems harsh, but is a hell of a nickname.
All his life he's been in love with Annabelle and she won't give him the time of day. He eats and eats his misery away while gaining more weight. He doesn't need real friends, he has plenty of online friends to occupy his time. So he stays quiet at school and at work.
Everyday that he works, Annabelle comes in and buys a low carb energy drink and steals a candybar. All Henry wants in life is Annabelle to be his girlfriend and he breaks into her emails to read all about the real her.
With doctors appointments and the impending doom of his health. He decides to really focus on a diet to lose weight for Annabelle and to start following in the footsteps of his stepdad and play some baseball. He wants to be the best and that's how hard he trains.
He makes friends with some of the baseball players in school and starts becoming one with the incrowd. But that can only get him so far.
He practices and works harder with catching the eye of an out of town husky cutie. All he does is let her down with thoughts of a girl he will never have.
Will Biggie overcome his fear and throw a perfect game and fall in love?
Reading this book you want nothing but the best to come to Henry. Everything he wants you want for him. You just want to scream over and over for him to keep his head up. What surprises me is that it didn't end the way these books kind of end. It was a hapoy ending, but nothing ended up perfectly. Did he get the girl, did her throw a perfect game, did he make his family proud, and did he get everything he wanted?
Can't really say.
Every single time someone said Biggie...I thought of Hypnotize by Biggie Smalls.
" I put hoes in NY onto DKNY
Miami, D.C. prefer Versace
All Philly hoes, go with Moschino
Every cutie wit a booty bought a Coogi"
See you on the mound dear readers.
Profile Image for Connie.
1,462 reviews23 followers
March 7, 2015
Source: I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review from the publisher via Netgalley, thanks to both!

Title: Biggie
Author: Derek E Sullivan
Genre: YA, contemporary
Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

Henry 'Biggie' Abbott is the son of baseball legend, Aaron Abbott and his step father also happens to be a baseball legend too. His little brother lives and breathes the game but no one seems to understand what went wrong with him. At 6ft4, he sits at over 300 pounds, he's obese. He hates sports, he doesn't socialise and he keeps out of trouble. But after hitting a perfect game in Wiffle Ball, he begins to think that maybe, just maybe with the help of his brother and his step dad, he can live up to the family name and possibly win the heart of the beautiful Annabelle who's currently dating the high school's current baseball star.

I loved the character of Biggie. He was relatable, and isn't that always a vital factor in a book, a relatable protagonist? As someone who is Chunky yet Funky, I understand the anxieties that he faces later in the book, losing weight is draining and it is hard when you're happy heavy. Biggie was happy heavy but he knows that losing weight is for the best. He had such a damaged mind, he had such little self confidence and it was good to see him grow as a character throughout this book. I really liked him and I also really liked his family, Maddux was such a cute little brother and Laser didn't seem as bad as I thought he'd be initially, he just knew what he wanted!

I have to admit, I hated Killer too, although that was probably the point and it's sad that most high school boys would relate more to his character than they would to Biggie's.

Sullivan has a very good writing style, the chapters weren't too long or too short and he got a good balance between good days and bad days! The cover art is also beautiful, as a fan of typography, I like it.

My main criticism would be the ending, I wanted something slightly more climatic but despite this I really enjoyed reading this book, thanks to both places that made it possible!
Profile Image for Mike Kalmbach.
Author 12 books65 followers
April 26, 2015
A home run!

Every night I read this book, I hated putting it down. I'm a little sad that I hit the end, but I can't wait to see more from Mr. Sullivan. He's definitely an author to watch.

It's rare that a book grabs me so quickly: there are only a few that have some special quality that makes me sit up and say: "there's something important here."

Biggie is one of those books.

Even though I've never experienced the extreme weight that Biggie deals with, his character felt real and relatable. It's really a book about being an outsider, and the extreme effort people will attempt in order to avoid embarrassment.

I loved how Biggie thought his silence and weight would protect him from whispers, only to find out that people talked about him more than anyone else. I loved how Biggie screwed up multiple times and had to deal with the consequences. I loved how he struggled with his weight and used the goal of pitching a perfect baseball game as a driving force to improve his health and try to win the heart of his childhood crush.

I loved how he talked about the differences between the real world and the virtual world--how much easier it was to say the right thing in the virtual world, and how no one had the opportunity to really judge him in that world.

Overall, I recommend this to anyone who has felt like an outsider. I think there are big lessons to learn about personal motivation and striving to always be a little bit better as a person. Great first book from Mr. Sullivan!
March 6, 2015
Last year I said I wanted to read something different from what I always read. Not because I am bored of the romance/erotica, but because it’s always good a change, and Biggie was definitely a big change for me. First, because this book has so much baseball - way too much for my taste, hence the 3,5 stars. - Second, Henry, or Biggie, was the kind of character I’ve never read before. He’s a young kid who doesn’t want to be noticed. His insecurities and all his teenager experiences makes him a very likable character. And third, the story, this book has a very interesting plot, how one kid who has been trying to have his own identity all his life, decides to make a change and finally find himself. I totally loved his relationship with Anabelle. I think she was good for him, she encouraged him to take the first step, helped him launch to a better person.

I totally recommend this book, the story is so good that even if you don't like baseball, like me, you’ll enjoy the book and love the characters.
Profile Image for Kristin.
Author 30 books372 followers
March 15, 2015
"Biggie" is a fantastic read! I can't say enough how much I loved the story. Author Derek Sullivan tells a story about a high school boy who's over 300 pounds. The words to describe the character's thoughts and feelings, just blew my mind. It was like I was back in high school again. His words could not be any truer.

The inner struggles of being a boy, in high school, born from an legendary baseball player, living in a small town in Iowa, and being socially awkward are all topics that are tackled with eloquent words, punchy dialogue, and scenes that come to life right off the black and white pages.

I'm not a baseball fan, but I felt like I was sitting in the bleachers, cheering for the players, and screaming at the coaches. The only thing that is missing was the smell of freshly roasted peanuts, but do they do that for high school games? I don't know.

What I do know is I was mentally with Biggie on that pitcher's mound. I felt my body go through the motions. I counted in my head as I read it on the page. I was the pitcher.
74 reviews
April 24, 2015
Couldn't put this down. I read it in four days, when it usually takes weeks for me to get through a book. This is a realistic glimpse into the mind of a smart yet obese teen. I was rooting for him right from the beginning, and felt like I was there when he pitched that perfect wiffle ball game on his first day of gym class in years (he got caught with a forged note from mom about not being physically able to participate. Biggie has learned to just shut his mouth in school because anyone who talks seems to get teased. He's unable to converse face to face with people due to social anxieties, but he's got dozens of online " girlfriends." But after winning in gym class he goes on a quest to get in shape and get the girl (his crush since childhood), winning the respect of his athletic stepdad and practically-pro baseball loving younger brother. This book is such an intriguing look at an overweight teen's experiences, at school, at home, at the doctor's office, and on social media. Highly recommend.
July 31, 2015
It's hard to like the character Biggie but it's easy to love the book Biggie. One teens change over a few months and the reasons for it are what grip you in this book. It quite an inspiring look into the life of how a small town, heavy set young man deals with his problems.
Profile Image for Chiara.
128 reviews21 followers
February 23, 2015
Recensito su ChiaraLeggeTroppo.

Il motivo per cui ho richiesto questo libro su NetGallery (che doverosamente ringrazio per avermene concessa una copia in cambio della mia onesta opinione) è uno soltanto: la copertina. Adoro questo genere di cover, catturano la mia attenzione molto più di quanto una foto possa fare e mi danno come l’impressione che dietro gli accostamenti cromatici, i font particolari e l’approccio relativamente minimal si nasconda una storia che vale la pena scoprire. Prendete esempio, CE italiane, e permettete ai nostri grafici di guadagnarsi da vivere creando copertine accattivanti come questa! Ma al di là della copertina, c’è da dire che anche la trama di questo romanzo non è affatto male. Al contrario, si è rivelato una vera sorpresa.
I have friends. Tons, actually. Over the past four years, I have accumulated a massive number of online friends. I’m not lonely, far from it. Tonight, I’m looking at pictures from my online friend Lucy’s seventeenth birthday party. Lucy lives to have fun. She loves guys and girls who party. She smokes Malboro Lights and weed, and stays out late, even on school nights. The only reason she gets online at all is because she’s so frienzied after a night of partying that she can’t calm down. In real life, a girl like her and me would neve coexist.

Biggie è un adolescente che non si limita ad essere grasso, è decisamente sovrappeso e lo è in maniera consapevole, perché dietro tutti i chili in eccesso ci si può nascondere. Convinto e contento di vivere nella sua stessa ombra, avido dell’invisibilità che – a detta sua – gli impedisce di essere preso di mira dai suoi compagni di scuola a cui deve il soprannome che odia, Biggie sarà costretto ad affrontare una prospettiva molto lontana dalla sua quando si troverà a partecipare – dopo anni di esonero – ad una lezione di educazione fisica e si dimostrerà capace di giocare la partita perfetta in quello che immagino essere una variamente semplificata del baseball (Wiffle Ball). E quando Annabelle, la ragazza di cui è segretamente innamorato, sosterrà che dovrebbe proprio giocare nella squadra di baseball della scuola, la decisione sarà facile da prendere: reclamerà i geni paterni, stella del baseball della città che ha rinunciato a qualsiasi legame con Biggie nel momento in cui questo è nato, per trasformarsi nel lanciatore capace di giocare una partita perfetta e conquistare così la ragazza dei suoi sogni.
The more he stares, the more determined I become to prove him wrong. Yes, I’m at a Finch baseball meeting, I want to yell. My little bastard of a brother says he’ll teach me to throw this macical knuckleball that will help me pitch the first perfect game in school history. Even though I’m determined, I feel stupid and out of place.

Leggere questo romanzo, in soldoni, si ridurrebbe a leggere una puntata di Made anziché vederla trasmessa su MTV se non fosse che Biggie è un personaggio assolutamente odioso, debole, patetico e con una tendenza allo stalking che in più di una situazione diventa davvero irritante. Incurante, egoista, incapace di andare fino in fondo ai suoi propositi fino a quando non viene messo alle strette dalla concreta possibilità di aver contratto il diabete, Henry Abbott è un antieroe fatto e finito al punto che in più di una occasione viene voglia di conoscere piuttosto i suoi antagonisti, Killer – che quando erano bambini gli appioppò il soprannome – in primis. Non gli importa di deludere sua madre, che da anni spende una piccola fortuna per garantirgli una dieta sana e con alimenti di prima qualità, regalandosi ogni mattina una seconda colazione in un fast-food da quattro soldi. Non gli importa di ferire il patrigno, che si accolla la responsabilità e l’onere di rimetterlo in forma per cercare di stabilire un legame con una persona che ha sempre dato prova di non voler aver nulla a che fare con lui. Non si cura dei sentimenti del suo fratellino più piccolo, astro nascente del baseball, addossandogli colpe che non potrebbero mai essere sue. Biggie molla, quando la fatica è troppo grande o le cose non seguono esattamente la strada che ha immaginato nella sua testa. Si arrende in più di ogni occasione, manca di motivazione e le motivazioni che propina a se stesso e a chi lo circonda sono sempre sbagliate, deboli, insufficienti a sostenere lo sforzo che gli viene richiesto. Ai suoi occhi è sufficiente perdere peso, rimettersi in forma e saper lanciare bene per diventare automaticamente un titolare nella squadra di una città che ha fatto del baseball la propria religione. Non serve altro per conquistare Annabelle, che da subito mette bene in chiaro di non voler nulla da lui, e poco importa se per anni ha letto le sue email private dopo aver scoperto la password dell’account. Insomma, c’è davvero tanto che non va in Biggie, ma proprio tanto, e capita più di una volta di sentir le mani prudere per la voglia di prenderlo a ceffoni.
“God damn it, Biggie, talk!”
“I don’t want to be call Biggie anymore.”
“You want something in life, you have to earn it. You don’t want me, Maddux, your teammates to call you Biggie, then you have to earn it.”
He reaches forward, grabs the Mountain Dew, and gets out of the truck. I drop my head against the steering wheel like I might yank it out and grind my teeth, a thought boils inside me and I lean back and scream at the top of my lungs.
“God damn it, Mom. Why did you rip up that note?”

Eppure la lettura è straordinariamente piacevole, fa pensare moltissimo e lo stile dell’autore permette di apprezzare le brutture del suo personaggio attraverso pensieri espressi in prima persona che, nonostante tutto, fanno pensare ad un ragazzo che potrebbe essere molto migliore di quello che è ma che semplicemente è vittima di pigrizia e piagnistei. Biggie è un personaggio davvero ben costruito, la sua storia appassiona perché è questo che succede quando si mescolano il desiderio di riscatto e l’effetto extreme makeover in una combinazione assolutamente letale che si trasforma in un’altalena di odio-amore nei confronti di questo ragazzo che ha la maturità emotiva di un bambino e difficoltà fisiche quasi pari ai suoi paletti mentali. Eppure, dopo un po’, mi sono resa conto di non essere nessuno per giudicarlo e mi sono sentita in colpa nei suoi confronti per averlo giudicato debole, incapace, privo di spina dorsale. Solo successivamente mi sono resa conto che stavo sentendomi una brutta persona nei confronti di un personaggio di carta, e non di una persona vera e propria, e in quel momento ho realizzato la bravura di Derek Sullivan nell’aver creato un adolescente così realistico da spingermi ad approcciarlo come fosse di carne.
Biggie – il libro – mi è piaciuto molto. Sarà che Made era una delle mie trasmissioni preferite quando ero al liceo, sarà che quando qualcosa è scritto bene difficilmente non riesco ad apprezzare, sarà che nonostante tutto ho trovato il romanzo interessante e diverso dal solito, ma ho chiuso il libro con la sensazione di averci guadagnato moltissimo. E non è poco.
Profile Image for Charlet.
15 reviews3 followers
July 19, 2018
Henry --son of a baseball legend …not that he has ever met his father his dad never wanted him. Neither does his step-dad Laser. He is weird and prefers to stay in his 11 yr old stepbrothers shadow rather than being the center of attention... Annabelle his lifelong crush pays 0 attention to him, so he prefers to spend his time online with his multiple (online girlfriends)Oh ya he also weighs over 300 pounds earning the name Biggie teachers and his coach call him that only his mom calls him Henry. Sports have always been avoided until one day Biggie decides the only way to win Annabelle's heart is with sports so with the help of Malcom he attempts to play a perfect game of baseball give up sweets and step out of his shadow.

(I am not a sports fan but I did love this book)

I apologize for my lack of good writing lol
Profile Image for Palatine Library.
333 reviews40 followers
June 18, 2020
Derek Sullivan’s “Biggie” was a less-than enjoyable book for many reasons, most notably for its lack of likable characters and substance/message. In all great books, the protagonist goes through a change and learns something about themselves, allowing the reader to learn something new too. With this book, this is not the case. The main character doesn’t go through any great change that teaches him something. He has many flaws that are not addressed, acknowledged, or addressed. One of his biggest flaws that goes unmentioned is his sense of perfectionism. The premise of the book is that Biggie pitched a perfect game of wiffleball in gym class. After this event, Biggie feels as if he is entitled to the star pitcher placement on the school’s baseball team, which already is full of actual star players. When he is given a spot on the team, but not what Biggie was aiming for, he quits in disgust and only appears at the State competition expecting a place on the roster. This is one of Biggie’s biggest flaws, yet it is not addressed whatsoever. This book would have been better if this was the issue the author tried to tackle instead of Biggie’s physical appearance.

One of his character traits advertised is that he is heavy-set, thus the nickname “Biggie.” Throughout the book, he actively attempts to destroy his social life through unhealthy habits, while also questioning why he has no successful social life. The author portrays Biggie’s weight issue as a flaw, as opposed to his obsessive and creepy mannerisms. Throughout the book, Biggie goes on a journey of weight loss, which endorses the belief that in order to be successful in life, you must be thin and athletic. Any book that endorses beliefs that put down any group for a perceived flaw that isn’t really an issue is a disgrace in my mind. Biggie chooses to lose weight, not because of the health complications, but in order to impress a disinterested girl.

In most modern-day books, misogyny is a trait that is very clearly frowned upon. Unfortunately, this book perpetuates the stereotype that men, no matter their behavior, are deserving of a girlfriend. He catfishes hundreds of women online, takes advantage of them, and manipulates their emotions. Biggie digitally stalks a female classmate he is infatuated with, and he sees no issue with it. Throughout the novel, he acts like (pardon my language) an entitled creep towards her. He tricks her into dating him, even when it is clear she is disgusted by his behavior. When she finally rejects him and gets a different boyfriend, he feels cheated and discarded. When he finds a new girl to obsess over he feels as if he deserves her as a girlfriend, even though he does not make any attempt to get to know her. He feels that he just deserves her without having to put in any effort like she is some material object that he should simply “own”. When she finally passes him over, Biggie feels as if she abandoned him, even though women are not the property of men. Biggie is a misogynistic and entitled male who represents the misleading idea that “boys will be boys.”

All of these character flaws aside, Biggie is supposedly characterized as a “nerd”. He gets straight As with no effort (which as a straight-A student in high school, is simply not possible without having a mental breakdown). This would seem like an obvious strength, something good to offset his perfectionism. However, it is hardly mentioned or tied into his life, and even when it is, it is shrugged off as “not a big deal” or a flaw. The author portrays Biggie as analyzing tiny instances, such as incorporating “nerdy” processes into how he throws a ball, which is something that would not happen in gym class. Besides that one instance, Biggie is never portrayed as smart. Biggie calls himself smart because he feels morally and intellectually superior to his counterparts. This causes him to estrange himself from his classmate, considering himself to be above their petty bullying. He then wonders why, after acting like a creep and making no attempt to socialize, he has no friends. It creates frustration because Biggie is the cause of his own problems, but fails to recognize that, even after it is pointed out to him. The author after pointing out his main character’s flaw decided to skip over it and go to a different topic. Biggie is egotistical, and he acts as if he is better than his peers, and does not try to understand them. He kind of lives in his own bubble, and is unaware of others.

Our final grievance, while not relating as much to this book so much as to YA books on the whole, is the lack of diversity. We only got to know one (1) white straight male, a cookie-cutter character. There was no representation of different races, religions, and sexualities. The representation of women was also disappointing. Diversity is important, and it helps make a story more dynamic and interesting. This lack of diversity may be what made this book so bland and static.

If it was possible we would give this book zero stars. The author originally wrote this as a short story, and that is how he should have kept it.

-Caitlin W and Eli L
Profile Image for Lustful Literature.
1,822 reviews325 followers
March 4, 2015


I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. The synopsis sounded good so I said to myself what the heck it sounds unique. Let me just say that I loved this book. I seriously had a book hangover for days and kept thinking about Henry a.k.a Biggie. I wanted to shout from the rooftops that everyone must read this book!!!!

The author sucks you in right away and this book took me on one hell of a ride. I could read about Biggie for days. The author did such a great job with allowing you to connect to the main character. I just wanted to crawl inside my reading device and give him a big ole hug. His self-esteem was just so low and he just didn’t care about himself. He learned the bigger he was the less people picked on him so decided to fade into a world where he was all alone.

“I can’t even run ten feet without almost having a heart attack. I’m way past a personal trainer. I’m a lost cause.”

“I haven’t eaten in ten hours, but I’m not hungry. I want to have diabetes. I want to die.”

I think I highlighted almost the whole book. There was so many fantastic things that Biggie said. This story is not about rainbows and unicorns. No, this story is real and raw. Sometimes it had me laughing and other times I felt like my heart was being ripped out.

At 30% my heart was breaking for Biggie. He is so sweet but clearly his weight has him trapped in an online social life. He has no self-esteem and I kept wishing he would realize he had so much to offer if he would just give himself a chance. At 51% my heart was hurting so much. He has been in love with Annabelle forever and all she sees is that asshole Killer who cares nothing for her. At 71% I felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath me when I read exactly how little Killer actually cared about Annabelle and what he did even after learning that Henry wanted her.

“So even though I’ve known her since I was five and have been in love with her since I was twelve, this is the first time we’ve officially been friends.”

The secondary characters where great. The author did a fantastic job in showing you just how cruel teenagers could be.

“High school kids are cruel, mean sons-of-bitches, and not just toward fat people. Nobody is immune to the constant ripping.”

This book was so unique and the story was just something you don’t normally read about. The writing style was amazing and I was not a happy camper when I realized the book was over. I wanted more!!!!! I hope the author plans on writing another book about Henry. I would love to see what happens next.

So if you are looking for a book that is real, raw and will take you on a ride that you will not be able to get out of your head for a long time than you certainly want to read this one. Even days later I still can’t get this book out of my head.
Profile Image for Lindsey Gilbert.
29 reviews
April 14, 2016
I hardly ever quit a book but I couldn't make myself read anymore of this awful story.

I was hoping this would be something different. A book with a fat protagonist who discovers his own-self worth and learns to love himself as he is. Instead, it's the same old tropes. Fat characters get written into the same stereotypes constantly. They are usually either evil, stupid, or funny. "Biggie" or Henry, our main character, is the villain in his own story.

First of all, lets talk about Biggie's online social life. Nothing particularly wrong with that. So many of my friends who are bullied and marginalized have found solace through online friends. It is an environment where you can practice social skills without pressure and not be judged by your physical appearance. In Biggie's case however, he uses it as a weapon. He stalks women and tries to get into their heads by invading their privacy so he can trick them into liking/having sex with him. That's just wrong. That's a very unhealthy and predatory behavior. And he doesn't seem to understand why it upset the woman in question. So, the best representation we can make of an fat character is that of a sociopath. Great job...

Another common trope with overweight characters is that it's okay to be fat, if you are trying to lose weight and 'get healthy'. This is something commendable in our society. Loving your self is not and that's the problem. Biggie, invisible and unhappy, starts making friends, gets a girl, builds a stronger relationship with his family because he starts playing sports and starts being athletic. Something he admits hating at the beginning of the book because it goes against his entire world view. So, yeah, Henry, it's okay to be fat as long as you try to change yourself and conform to society's standards.

This book was insulting and infuriating. It is hateful towards women. It is hateful towards fat people. We should be telling stories of body acceptance and self-love for theses marginalized characters. Because when it comes down to it, that simple but radical idea can help people discover their self-worth. This book just tells them again how much they should hate their bodies.
Profile Image for Chris N.
300 reviews13 followers
April 21, 2015
"I have noticed one undeniable fact: high school kids are cruel, mean sons-of-bitches, and not just toward fat people. Nobody is immued to the constant ripping"

Henry "Biggie" Abbot is 17 and on the plus side of 300 pounds. He has gotten so big that no one makes fun of him any more. He maintains high grades, keeps to himself and has so far avoided taking PE. His mother has tried and failed to get him to eat healthy and exercise. He has a vast amount of on line girlfriends but can't string two sentences together when talking face to face with anyone. Painfully shy he pretty much shuns people.

His plans on avoind PE have been thrawted by his mother and is forced to participate. He pitches a wifferball game in school and pitches a perfect game. This pleases him to no end as he has always looked upon sports as a certain failure, something he can't stand is failure. His biological father was a big name ball player and his stepfather is as well. When his half brother tried to get Biggie to perfect his pitch he tells him that he will be the first player to get a perfect game. This sets the ball rolling for Biggie. He thinks that if he pitches the perfect game the girl he has a crush on will fall for him. As things start to change for Biggie it doesn't all go to plan.

What I liked about this story is that it's not about a fat kid trying to get skinny and accepted by his peers, he tries to get in enough shape to pitch the perfect game and win his dream girl. it' doesn't go smoothly and it all doesn't go to plan but sometimes what you want and what you get aren't the same… and not always a bad thing.

Great writing style and a good read

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
40 reviews1 follower
March 16, 2015
Oh man, I loved this book!

Okay, so I GENERALLY love books, but this was one of those books I read in two sittings. And the only reason I read it in two sittings (rather than one) is because I started it before bed... then went to bed way too late... then was really looking forward to my son's nap time so I could pick it back up again (sorry, kiddo!).

What made Biggie so remarkable to me was the genuineness of Biggie's voice. He was a compelling character for lots of reasons - a complicated relationship with family members, the distance he's created for himself, the (very realistic) split between digital world Biggie and real world Biggie, and that feeling of first love.

Biggie is, as the title suggests, big. He comes from a family of athletes - his dad, step dad, and half brother - and has a mom who is concerned about his size, and cares for him. But Biggie has discovered the bigger he is, the more space he takes up, the less visible he is in the intimidating hallways of high school. Suddenly, he wants to become more visible to Annabelle, the girl he's admired since seventh grade.

And so, Sullivan takes us on Biggie's journey from the invisible big guy in the back of the room to someone who is as imperfect as the rest of us, trying to make changes.

I just love this story. Biggie struggles, and towards the ending, Sullivan doesn't cater to his readers by making everything perfect - he makes it real. I don't want to spoil anything, but I love a good, true ending, over a good, unrealistic ending. I hope that is vague enough.

I highly recommend Biggie.
Profile Image for Mrs. Shaffer.
82 reviews11 followers
October 9, 2015
I can’t believe this is a debut novel! It has almost edged out SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIEN AGENDA as my Morris pick for the year. (Almost! But I’m hopeful the committee is considering BIGGIE…)

Henry, aka “Biggie” Abbot, prides himself as much on his perfect GPA as he does on flying under the radar at school, no easy feat for a guy well over six feet and three-hundred pounds and growing, thanks to easy access to greasy treats at his convenience store job. The illegitimate son of his Iowa hometown’s baseball legend, and stepson of and stepbrother to two more ball players, it’s a wonder that he’s been able to avoid baseball since a T-ball incident when he was six, but he has, instead immersing himself in online relationships with over a hundred different girls, which doesn’t keep him from pining for (and cyber-stalking) Annabelle, whom he manages to impress by pitching a perfect Whiffle ball game after his forged “get out of gym class” note is uncovered and destroyed by his mom. Inspired by Annabelle’s encouragement and excited by the prospect of success on the diamond, Biggie begins training and learns as much about himself and others as he does about pitching over the course of the school year.

Completely unlike any character I’ve ever read, Biggie isn’t really likable, but I found myself rooting for him anyway. His story has a great arc, lots of drama, and an interesting and believable supporting cast of other characters, including complexly portrayed adults as well as other teens.

So excited to share this one with students and can’t wait to hear what they think.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
Author 4 books52 followers
March 3, 2015
I’m not sure what originally drew me to this book. I can’t really relate to Henry (aka Biggie) at all. I’ve been tiny for as long as I can remember, and I’m certainly not coordinated enough for any sports. But it’s refreshing to read a book so completely out of my comfort zone, and that’s exactly what this was.

There were parts of it that made me so extremely uncomfortable, but not for the reason you would think. Henry is so emotionally enclosed within himself, and sometimes his behavior left me feeling embarrassed for him. I really wanted to root for him, but I also wanted for him to be rightfully put in his place. The story would not have rung true if he had simply strolled through this book without learning from his mistakes. This story was never about Henry’s attempt to pitch a perfect game. It was all about how he changed and grew on his journey to get there.

This is why it is my pleasure to report that Henry DOES learn, and he DOES grow! And the best part of all? I didn’t want it to end! I felt like if this story could keep going, I would keep reading. I wanted to know where he would go from here. Would he succeed in life? Would his journey of personal growth continue or stagnate?

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Nicole.
644 reviews4 followers
February 15, 2015
Henry Abbot, Biggie, is happy with his rather solitary life until he pitches a perfect game of wiffle ball. That experience opens up possibilities in his mind, namely the possibility of getting his longtime crush, Annabelle, to go on a date with him. He hates sports, he is at least a hundred pounds overweight, and he cannot seem to speak coherently to anyone without the aid of a keyboard, but he thinks he might just be able to pitch a perfect game in baseball and win the respect of his home town. I loved this book. Henry was one of those characters who just leapt off the pages for me. Since the bulk of this book is his inner monologue, it was hard for him to hide his true thoughts and feelings, and it was such an honest depiction of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes I really didn't like him, and sometimes I just wanted to give him a big hug. He is going to be hard to say goodbye to, now that the book is finished. I think that my high school students will respond just as much to him as I did, and I think readers of both genders will find themselves drawn into Henry's world. I can't wait to get a copy of this for my classroom library, and I certainly will encourage our librarian to order a copy or three. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maggie.
108 reviews7 followers
March 5, 2015
I signed up to be a part of this book tour because I was an obese teen in high school. While nowhere near as tall as Biggie, and therefore not weighing as much, I remember how terrible gym class was. I can still clearly feel the terror that was having to play volleyball and having everybody laugh at you. Sullivan did an excellent job of capturing this emotion, even though Biggie tried his best to hide how he felt.

I also enjoyed reading about how Biggie had his big plan to win the game, get the girl and be awesome. Of course it didn’t go as he hoped, but the entire plan was exactly like how we think as teenagers. Once again, I admire the author’s ability to capture these types of emotion in words on a page.

After reading this book, I discovered that the author had originally written it as a short story but was urged to continue on. I am glad he did so but I can see how the piece that began as the short story would have stood by itself. I don’t know if it was published or not in that form but I think it would be a good piece to discuss in high school literature courses. I also feel that the book would be a way to open up a discussion about bullying, regarding how Biggie is treated by his classmates.

I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.
Profile Image for Sarah Sallans.
61 reviews9 followers
March 5, 2015
‘Biggie’ is one of the first books this year that I can relate to. Because, I myself, am a bigger lady. Fluffy as I put it. I know the pain of being teased and made fun of in school. The author grabs your feels right in the beginning and takes you along right until the very end.

Biggie AKA Henry has quite the history and deals with so much in the present as well. He is a smart kid, with good grades. Henry chose to gain more weight as he grew up, because it kept people from him. He wanted to be less of a target and not noticed by his peers. It made him less of a target in school, after being pointed out that day in Elementary and receiving his nickname. Biggie.

His parents were young when he was born, and his father gave up his rights. His mom is at the end of her ropes with his weight, and has stopped caring. Both his dad and his stepdad are involved in baseball. I did not like his parents or his stepfather, they all frustrated me SO much! You can’t force a child into a sport, or anything for that matter, that they do not like. Ugh.

This book is an amazing coming of age book, from a character who deals with different things than the normal character you would read about. It deals with a real issue some kids deal with daily. I felt so much reading this, and my heart hurt for him. It’s not easy being the big kid, and fellow teenagers can be so cruel and heartless.
Profile Image for Ms. C Rivas.
38 reviews
October 27, 2015
I was surprised at how I was sucked into this book. Not to say that the prose isn't good but at first read it sounded like every other typical YA book. But something about Biggie's voice and his perception of things and his obsession with having a perfect game became infectious and next thing I knew I was through the whole thing.

Biggie is big, as in overweight, as in obese, but for some reason I had a hard time imagining him as such. And that only made me realize how much we perceive of others without actually knowing them. It was a great lesson in how much weight we put in appearance, no pun intended.

Biggie becomes interested in baseball, and maybe it's because I live in a household with a baseball coach, but I really felt like I knew his world and could understand it. Something I personally don't do but could understand from Biggie's perspective, was his use of social media as an outlet for human interaction which he was lacking in real life. Also, as in most YA books, there is a love interest (or two), but not with the typical outcome.

I enjoyed the book's ending as it didn't stick to the cliche or expected. I felt satisfied with the conclusion. Overall, I really enjoyed Biggie and his world of baseball, diets, school, and girls and would recommend it to anyone who thinks they are capable of much less than they actually are.
Profile Image for Melissa.
559 reviews4 followers
February 28, 2015
The heart of this book is about how a lack of self confidence can affect the teenage mind and make a teenager do things that aren't normal. The decisions Biggie makes, oh these things he does around girls. There were times I wanted to shake him and teach him what is appropriate and not. No, Biggie, it is not okay to tell a girl you have hacked into her account and know things about her that she never shared with you. No, Biggie, having 140+ online girls friends that you talk to every night is not ok. But beyond this, I loved Biggie. I loved how he finally was able to let go of the guilt of living in his father's shadow- the infamous, the legend, the man who wanted nothing to do with his own son. He accept that it was okay not to be like his dad, but instead be himself and play baseball because he wants to not because he is the son of a baseball legend. I also loved how his relationship with his brother and step father developed over the course of the book. I can't wait until this book comes out in a few days and I can recommend it to my students. I think there are many that will gravitate towards Biggie's story.
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