Monday, January 04, 2010
Food, Girls, And Other Things I Can't Have (YA)
Food, Girls, And Other Things I Can't Have. By Allen Zadoff. 2009 [September 2009] Egmont USA. 320 pages.
My name is Andrew Zansky. I'm fifteen years old, and I weigh 307 pounds.
What harm can a little lie do? What about a bunch of little lies? Can they change who you are? Make you unrecognizable even to yourself? Andrew, our narrator, never expected to be found out. About any of his little lies. Especially since some of these lies were ones he was telling himself, that he believed to be true. Who is Andrew? What is his story?
Andrew doesn't want to be "the fat boy" who is always getting picked on, teased, and bullied. He wants to be the one who gets the girl for a change. So when a fairy godmother* of a football player (O) takes him under his wing, under his protection, gets him a tryout for the football team, teaches him what he needs to know about girls, sports, parties, and how to be one of the team, well, life becomes a bit of a fairy tale for a while. Until Andrew starts asking himself some tough questions...
A good coming-of-age story is enjoyable. And while Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have has more than its fair share of predictable moments and insights, it is still enjoyable. What is it about? It's about a boy wanting oh-so-much more than what he has. It's about a boy not knowing what he really wants or needs. And because that is true for so many of us--so many of us have felt confused and frustrated in our lives be it past or present--it makes him--his story--easy to relate to.
*Okay, so he's not really a fairy godmother type. He's the captain of the football team. The most popular guy in school. But he does in a way appear to Andrew to be the means of how he gets all his wishes, all his dreams.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews