From Book 1:Praise for Stupid Fast "A rare mix of raw honesty and hilarity. Stupid Fast is Stupid Good!" -Peter Bognanni, author of The House of Tomorrow
I AM NOT STUPID FUNNY. I AM STUPID FAST.
My name is Felton Reinstein, which is not a fast name. But last November, my voice finally dropped and I grew all this hair and then I got stupid fast. Fast like a donkey. Zing!
Now they want me, the guy they used to call Squirrel Nut, to try out for the football team. With the jocks. But will that fix my mom? Make my brother stop dressing like a pirate? Most important, will it get me girls-especially Aleah?
So I train. And I run. And I sneak off to Aleah's house in the night. But deep down I know I can't run forever. And I wonder what will happen when I finally have to stop.
I am the author of the YA title, Stupid Fast (June 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire). I also wrote The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, a Novel from Three Rivers Press. When I'm not writing books, I'm writing for Radio Happy Hour or developing ridiculous musical bits.
When I'm not writing, I'm teaching writing at Minnesota State, Mankato, which means I write a lot of comments about writing on student writing.
Writing a lot of writing and reading about writing and writing on reading.
If you know anything about me, I’m a YA-loving teacher who’s always on the look-out for great guy books. I am so stinking happy that I read Stupid Fast because it is destined to be a winner with my boys! I’ve already had some success with Stupid Fast because before I even had a chance to read it, one of my freshmen boys asked to read my ARC. I had to say yes because he’s one of my reluctant readers. He isn’t reluctant anymore! He tore through this book and was so proud when he gave it back to me; he finished the book and wanted to read another. As a teacher or librarian, does it get any better than that?!
I’m not surprised my student enjoyed Stupid Fast as much as he did. It’s hilarious! Felton wants to be a comedian, but he doesn’t think he’s funny enough. Um, he’s wrong. I can’t tell you how often I was cracking up over his comments. It was about impossible to not laugh out loud during SSR. I would have snorted if I tried any harder to keep it in and that would have just been embarrassing. Felton is wonderfully awkward which fuels his humor. For instance, Felton has to take over his friend’s paper route and one of his stops is at a nursing home where he has the unfortunate experience of seeing old ladies in their underwear. “Oftentimes, the old ladies were wearing old lady robes or morning dresses or whatever, and the clothing wasn’t tied right or it had slid down wrong, and I got to see their Old Lady Underwear with an Old Lady in it, which made me very sad. What also made me sad was the very fact that nursing homes even exist because they’re hot, stinky prisons for innocent old ladies who have lived too long (like that’s a crime).“ He’s just so honest in his observations that you can’t help but giggle. And I love that while reading, it felt like Felton was talking to me. So wonderful.
Teen guys will be drawn to Stupid Fast because it involves sports. Quite a few of the sports-related novels I’ve read are a little more on the serious side and really revolve around the sport. Much of Geoff’s debut focuses on Felton’s experience with football, but his book goes deeper than that. While Felton is discovering himself as an athlete and friend, he’s also uncovering secrets about his family. This part of the story is really touching. He can’t understand why his mom has suddenly become depressed and he doesn’t know what to do about his weird and annoying little brother. Even though I felt bad for Andrew, Felton’s brother, I found myself laughing at their banter and insults towards one another. Felton is left in a position where he’s the “adult” because his mom has become an absent parent. What teenager is going to handle that well? This is where the honesty of this story really shines. We get to watch Felton mature and try to find a way to correct this situation, while navigating through his new role as jock and boyfriend.
If you want to read something fantastically funny, pick up Stupid Fast. If you want to read something honest and refreshing, pick up Stupid Fast. I can’t recommend this debut novel enough. Geoff Herbach has really impressed me and I CAN’T WAIT to read more of his work!
laughing out loud with this book. oh the bitter sweet and confusing and embarassing time of puberty. LOL.
yep, i can relate to al of it. ur body grow into something u dont understand. the attaraction of opposite sex. confusing and frustrating relationship with ur parents. the constant hunger. not to mention the social awkardness.
i like the author telling it as it is. and it is very relatable to my puberty experience. minus the pimples experience.
If you’re looking for a contemporary YA with an exceptionally strong voice, well-rendered characters and a realistic approach to family, friendship and first love, I’d have no hesitation in recommending this novel.
I assumed that Stupid Fast would have a much larger focus on football – not unreasonably, given the cover and summary. But while Felton Reinstein’s newly discovered speed and size do gain him the attention of the high school football team, this is also the catalyst for a chain of events that unfold over the summer, and will impact his entire life.
Herbach’s execution of Felton’s voice really is effective. It’s strong and distinct, consistent while still developing over the course of the story. This is first person at its best – as believable as if Felton was really speaking. Admittedly, it’s a voice that does take some adjusting to - Felton narrates with a unique energy and humour – but it’s compelling and endearingly honest.
Discovering that he’s “stupid fast” means that Felton learns what it is to go from being a dork, to a being a.. dork that plays football. Along with his sudden induction into the world of jocks and pee-smelling gyms, a beautiful piano-player moves in next door, his best friend isn’t answering his emails, and his mother is suddenly exhibiting some very strange behaviour. And while that may all sound a little trite in those words, this really is a touching story with surprising depth.
What prevents Stupid Fast from being too weighed down by the issues Felton faces is the humour. Throughout the novel, Herbach balances Felton’s journey of discovery and change with the warmth and authenticity of his characters – even during the sadder parts of the story there’s an undercurrent of wit that makes it feel realistic and honest rather than maudlin.
This was a surprisingly engaging read for me, and I’m looking forward to following Felton’s story in Nothing Special.
If you enjoy reading sports books, then Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach is the book for you. Felton Reinstein is a wimpy kid who is 15 years old and only has two friends named Gus and Peter. In late November in Wisconsin, his voice finally drops, he grows a bunch of hair, gets taller, and turns 16. He gets popular because he lets go of his shyness. So, he shows off his skills and talents at football tryouts and he nails it. Everybody is impressed. The sports stuff is a big deal for him, but at home his mom is stressed out and acting strange. She was depressed. Things are good at school but bad at home. The book is fast paced but the book has a few boring moments. If you like sport books with drama then you will like this book.
FNL Character Rating: Luke Cafferty/Landry Clarke*!!!!
(* I tend to be biased against Landry because he looks a lot like one of my ex-boyfriends, BUT his nerd-to-football player persona works for this rating. And I didn't even necessarily like the main character of the book, so that works too. And I ADORE Luke, and his cute, sensitive persona works for this rating too.)
On to the actual review:
So, I'm at this point in my life where puberty is far enough in my past that I find teenagers bewildering. I find myself too old to relate to them anymore. When I see them hanging out at the bus stop in front of where I work, I think to myself old people thoughts like, "Why are those kids yelling while having a conversation when they're standing right next to each other?!" Or, "Why are they texting each other when they're standing right next to each other?!" Or, "What's with those pants? Are they pants? Their parents paid for those pant-things AND let them wear them in PUBLIC?!"
Then I read this book and remembered what it was to be a teenager. I usually block it out, but author Geoff Herbach makes remembering it worth my time. Honestly, I've never read a book that captures the bewildering (and in this case, hilarious) awkwardness of being a teenager as well as this one does.
The main character, Felton Reinstein, aka Rein Stone, aka Squirrel Nut, is 15 years old. He was raised by his mom Jerri, whom he calls Jerri at her insistence, and his primary memory of his dad is HORRIFYING. It's the end of sophmore year and his best, and pretty much only, friend Gus is leaving to visit his sick grandmother in Venezuela. His 13 year old little brother Andrew is precocious, but still a little brother and calls Felton things like "Ass-Brain" when provoked in a way that only older brothers can provoke.
On top of all that, Felton's body is changing like crazy. Previously the butt of jokes at school, Felton's body sprouts. He discovers that he is naturally fast and athletic. Suddenly, the jocks and school coaches are clamoring for him to join their teams and calling him a Division I football prospect. Wait, what?
My co-worker Robin mentioned that when her daughter turned thirteen, all of the sudden, she didn't recognize her daughter anymore. Her daughter didn't look the same or act the same as she did before. Robin said when she looked at her daughter during that time, she thought to herself, "WHO ARE YOU?!?!?!"
This book reminded me that teenagers ask themselves (maybe not literally, but they do) the same question everyday and why. Felton looks different, but doesn't necessarily feel different, except for his increased appetite. But then because he looks different, his peers begin treating him differently, and tell him he should act differently, and then he finds himself acting differently, but still doesn't necessarily feel differently, and doesn't necessarily like acting differently and wait what?! Who is he?! Is he different? Should he be different?!
Oh yeah, and then his mom and brother start acting strangely in very different ways and there's no one around to guide Felton. Or buy him food. And there's the beautiful piano player living in his best friend Gus' house for the summer.
Felton's baffled reactions and observations towards his changing circumstances are amusingly authentic, as are his infuriating teenage impulses to get angry and/or withdraw while his family situation deteriorates.
So what's a growing boy, who's a dork to himself on the inside, but a D-1 football prospect on the outside, to do?
This is not a story about football. This isn’t even a tale about a boy who rises in popularity or becomes part of a team (it sort of is, but mostly not). This is a romance. That’s what it is. A boy who grows really fast and who comes from a severely dysfunctional family, falls in love with a girl who could easily be thought of as a musical prodigy. Throw in liberal amounts of teenage angst and a generous helping of cussing, and you have the framework for Stupid Fast.
The big no-no for me was the writing style. I didn’t enjoy that part at all and it bugged me from start to end. It felt as though the author had all these disjointed thoughts which he haphazardly strung together, gave it a title and called it a book. If this is the standard writing pattern for Geoff Herbach, I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of his books.
So then, what kept me reading? Well, Jerri is a terribly broken mother and her neglect of her children scared the heck out of me (but at the same time I was morbidly fascinated by it all and wanted to know what would happen to her boys in the end). I also wanted to see it through to find out whether our leading man was going to make the football team or not. So yeah, there was enough to keep me reading, but it was a struggle. I love the cover though, and that’s the main reason why I picked up this book.
Exciting book for guys that love sports. I was hooked from the start and just wanted to keep reading. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys an exciting, fast paced story. The plot is deepened by the rough home life of the main character and his fight to stabilize himself, his home, his relationships, and his new found talent, his speed.
I am neither male nor sporty, but I have always loved young adult realistic fiction with male narrators and sports themes. How I managed to miss last year’s Stupid Fast, even after it won a 2011 Cybils Award, completely blows my mind. Thankfully, though, a representative from Sourcebooks visited my library system recently, and included in the presentation was a plug for all three of Geoff Herbach’s books about Felton Reinstein.
Felton is fifteen, and lately he’s been dealing with some changes. For one thing, he can’t seem to stop growing, and every inch of him suddenly has hair. His mom, a hippy who insists on being called Jerri, is also starting to lose her mind, a problem which may or may not be related to Felton’s dad’s suicide ten years before. Pretty much overnight, Felton discovers he is fast, and the football team suddenly starts asking him to work out with them even though he’s never played before in his life. On top of that, Felton’s best friend has gone away for the summer and staying in his house is an African-American piano prodigy, whose talent catches Felton’s eye as well as that of his little brother, Andrew, who is also talented on the piano. The entire story is told from Felton’s point of view on one night late in summer when he just can’t fall asleep.
I think the biggest thing that makes me love a book is the main character’s voice, and Felton has one of the best YA voices I’ve read. He reminded me, at times, of some of Chris Crutcher’s characters, like TJ in Whale Talk, and Moby from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. At other times, I was sure he was channeling Karl Shoemaker from Tales of the Madman Underground or Guy Langman from Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. Felton is self-aware and self-deprecating, funny even when he thinks he’s not, sometimes selfish, sometimes giving, very talkative, even if only inside his own brain, and messed up in the way that all people are messed up when they’re trying to survive puberty. Being inside his thoughts for 300 pages was a treat, and even now, having finished the first book and not yet moved onto the second, I am carrying Felton around with me, still sometimes seeing the world from his point of view instead of my own. His voice is infectious, and it lingers for a while after the book is over.
Plot-wise, Stupid Fast is just as engaging as its protagonist. Felton’s journey from the weird kid everyone calls “Squirrel Nut” to a confident and competent member of a sports team is interesting enough on its own, but family dysfunction and romance really add to the reader’s interest and keep the pages turning. Jerri’s slow retreat from her duties as mother and Andrew’s strange behaviors in reaction to the loss of his mother actually made me worry for their future, and concern for Felton’s relationship with Aleah after his mom makes a fool of herself in the neighborhood, kept me up until 2 AM when I finally finished the book and felt satisfied.
In addition to the 2011 Cybils Award in Young Adult Fiction, Stupid Fast also received well-deserved recognition from YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, the Junior Library Guild, and the American Booksellers Association. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read, and a great read-alike for books by Allen Zadoff, Josh Berk, Chris Crutcher, Eric Luper, and Rich Wallace. The second book about Felton, entitled Nothing Special, was released in May 2012. I’m With Stupid, the third in the series, will be published in May 2013.
Geoff Herbach can be heard reading the beginning of Stupid Fast (with a few differences from the published text) here - it’s a great preview of the book and just as fun to listen to even if you’ve already read the whole story.
With a tendency to go off on tangents it was at first difficult to get a line on what Felton was trying to saying. I was constantly wondering where he was going with what he was saying; it turns out he was figuring things out as well. Still, he could get pretty funny. It’s not even him wanting to be a stand up comic, no… his is a humor that’s not intended because in simply saying what was, in being honest about one absurd situation and then another, his observations felt true, funny and even when they were sad at the same time.
More remarkable is him being funny with a mother and brother coming unhinged. Little brother goes pyro, but his mother’s all used up. Sad goings on, and in the midst of it, he and his brother butting heads still rang true. It’s one of the main things that kept me interested. Because with his family being the way it was, Felton grows up… albeit slowly, reluctantly, and not at all in sync with him being stupid fast, given his sudden physical change.
Overall though he gave me the impression that he didn’t know much not just about his history, but also about how to be with others. Simple boy, said one. And, indeed he was, but it’s not a bad thing either because in being that way, things felt more honest, too. Like his feelings on being disappointed in his mother and not wanting to deal with his brother, both those felt in the moment. But along with, there’s a reluctant look into why he feels, almost as if he were afraid of the truth. Anyway, a humor that comes out of him calling things as they are.
Then of course, his new found friends, I liked him with them because there’s a little flashback of Perks of a Being Wallflower, where the protagonist is taken in and is shown the way things are done… only in Stupid Fast, things are less dark and depressing. Here, he’s shown the possibility of so many things. I enjoyed him with them that because he is such a simple boy, his reactions could be cute only to make him come off as younger than his fifteen going on sixteen.
Let’s pare it down, shall we? On the one had there are relationships being formed; then on the other are relationships tearing themselves apart, in people losing it then him not dealing with the same. Theirs is a sad family, with a sadder history so that there’s this lump in my throat for him and his little brother. And the hero? Felton is awkward, lacks experiences. But, is honest about what he sees, and is funnier for it. He grows up… just not as fast as he was physically.
This is so much more than a boy book or a boy book with sports... it’s him reluctantly growing up because what choice does one have when everyone else around him has gone unhinged?
Stupid Fast is about a young boy that becomes a teen overnight, or so it seems to him. One night he goes to bed a scrawny loser and in the morning he wakes up a very hairy, and very popular football player. Felton Reinstein not only has to deal with his new and improved body, h is has to deal with his malfunctioning family. He is the one who found his father "hanging" in the garage. His mother burns all remembrances of his father and eventually has a breakdown. Oh there is his little brother, but since he can hardly figure himself out, he doesn't think he's the one to parent his baby brother. Oh, and there is the beautiful and talented girl who wants Feldon to kiss her!
The story is fast-paced and rich with details. You feel compelled to keep reading to find out how Feldon will cope his situation. Although, I really enjoyed the story, it would be difficult for me to recommend the story to a teen simply because of the language. It was brutal, at times. Although that may be the way all teen boys speak, do we have to read it in a book? It is for that reason that I only gave it 3 stars.
Felton's voice felt so real, so natural. The all-night narration idea is just right for the character and gave me such a sense of the energy coiled up in him.
I don't read much contemporary YA lit, so it was with trepidation that I picked this up. What I remember from the genre of my YA period(90s) is all Angst and Issues. And who wants to go there again? I was happily surprised to find a book that was about a person, not a cliche, and a person with thoughts I could relate to but with phrasing that had the power to delight me.
We moved a fair bit, and each time was a fresh opportunity to reinvent myself. Felton has the same chance here: his friend is gone, his family members are busy with their own problems, and his body is making it impossible for him to define himself the way that he used to. The crazy, pent-up energy of his days (and nights) rings so true to those days of hormones and futures and limitations.
As a runner, this book made me want to run. As a mother, it made me want to hand it to my kids. As a reader, it made me want to find more books like this.
I remember hearing about Stupid Fast because Sarah at YA Love Blog read it and raved about it. It was one of the books we recently purchased for our classroom libraries at school and as soon as I saw it, I couldn't wait to read it. It was great, as I predicted, and is starting to become a hit at school.
The thing I absolutely loved the most about Stupid Fast was Felton's voice. Geoff Herbach clearly nailed the voice of a teenage boy going through a lot of changes (aka all teenage boys). Felton is hilarious and awkward and smart, and I just loved seeing life through his eyes. If Felton's voice hadn't been so strong and clear, I definitely would not have liked this book as much.
Based on the cover, you'd probably imagine this is a sports book and nothing more, but it's obviously a lot more than that. Male students who like sports books (like Tim Green's or Mike Lupica's) will definitely gravitate toward the cover, but I think they'll be pleasantly surprised at the story beyond the sports aspect. After my book talk, Stupid Fast was checked out immediately and I can't wait for it to make the rounds!
This is one of those books that while reading I kept realizing, "I am not the target group for this book." This doesn't happen too often when reading YA, but every once in a while there is a very boy book that I read that I have trouble connecting to because, well, I am not and never was a teen boy. The great thing about Stupid Fast is how many different issues are going on. While I didn't connect to a lot of the boy stuff- lifting weights, brother stuff, puberty, etc. I very much connected with the psychological issues that were dealt with in this book- bullying, suicide, depression, abuse, love, friendship. And with such ease, Geoff Herbach intertwined all of this into a book that starts out seeming like it is going to be about football and ends being about football, but is about so much more in between.
An amazingly well crafted book. I fell in love with the characters, was pulled in by the plot, laughed out loud numerous times, and was in awe of how perfectly the author captured a teen boy's "fast" growth spurt. Wow.
I will say that there is a good bit of swearing in this one. I am neutral-ish on swearing. I don't do it much myself, and don't love to hear it out and about in public, but it doesn't make me uncomfortable either. I DO mind it in my reading when it feels forced or unecessary. Here, I felt it was part of the characters - who they are and how they would really talk.
With its tragically dysfunctional family and humour despite all the angst, this should have been exactly my cup of tea. I appreciated the sheer rawness of Felton's voice, and how seriously messed-up everyone was, but some things just didn't ring true, and others may have felt accurate enough, but I didn't want to go there. The one thing that I couldn't see in any way other than a need for the author to have a feel-good plot-line for poor Felton was the romance. I'd have loved to believe in it, but never could. Overall not a hit for me, though I'm thoroughly in the minority for this one.
I really enjoyed this book because I could relate to it so well. I think it was so relatable to me because it had a lot to do about football, I happened to be in while I read this. I can also relate to it because it has a bratty little brother in it, which I have to deal with one every day. I again could relate to it because it took place in Wisconsin, where I live.
Plot Summary: The book is about Felton Reinstein, a 15 year old kid, who is having the craziest summer ever. First, he starts hitting a massive growth spurt. He grows in height and weight, and “gets hair everywhere.” Second, his mom and little brother have been drastically changing. The mom, who never drinks, begins drinking all day long and never leaving the bed. His little brother is a master at the piano, but he no longer plays it. His little brother also starts dressing as a pirate and destroys all his clothes, except for hit “pirate ones.” Even though all this bad stuff is happening, some good things happen too. He finds a girl, who also happens to be great at piano, that he falls in love with. Luckily enough she falls in love with him too. Another good thing that happens was, with his body changing, he becomes “stupid fast.” This causes all the football players to want him to join football, and he does, becoming a star football player.
Felton Reinstein is the main character of the book. He is 15 years old at the beginning of the book. He is tall and skinny. He is not very funny, or so he thinks. He turns from a small geek to a big jock throughout the book.
Andrew Reinstein is Feltons little brother. At the beginning and end of the book he is a smart nine year old kid who loves to play the piano. In the middle of the book however, he is a bratty kid who likes to get in arguments with his mom, and yell at his brother.
Aleiah is the girl that moves into town, that Felton falls in love with. She is beautiful and is the best in the world (In her age group) at piano.
The setting of this book is in Bluffton, Wisconsin. It takes place around present time. This is important because if it was not set in Wisconsin, I would not be able to relate to it as well. It is also important that it takes place in present time because, I can again relate to it better.
A theme that came up in this book over and over again is that people are going to have to overcome obstacles in life. This is shown multiple times. He has to get over the fact his dad kills himself when he was young. He has to deal with his family members going crazy. He has so many things that he has to overcome, just like many people do in real life.
I recommend this book to high school boys who play football. I recommend it to them because I think that this is the group of people who will relate to it best. I also think that this is a high school reading level book, so that is why I think it should be read by high-schoolers.
Something I liked about this book is how it ends in a happy ending and everything fixes itself. The main character had a round development throughout this whole story with changes in appearance and his way of thinking change. It was easy to read because of its relation to sports and that it felt familiar and helped me continue reading. It also shows how good things can happen to people who have had a rough past and can change. Also, the bonds were made and realizing to .ask for help and the development of all the characters in the story.
This book was pretty good but Im going to talk about something I disliked about the story. Some of the things are the amount of bullies and people that go against the protagonist. Another thing is how the family structure is all over the place and act differently throughout the read. Also, I thought that it was a little flat for the last 50 sum pages all the problems were solved everything was normal but it just kept on going. I enjoyed this book a lot and gave it 4 stars but the only thing I would change is wrapping it up sooner and not just being a run-on story.
Stupid Fast By Geoff Herbach review. Where should I start, Overall I think this book is great. There were so many good parts in this book that had me glued. This book is about A kid Named Felton which before the book he had a life where he was an average kid but over summer he “grew” and gained the ability to be able to run very fast. Felton joins the football team where he becomes a star running back. Along he has some struggles with some kid that are mean to him with jealousy, but he also encounters are relatable and typical life. One of my favorite things about this book is how relatable this book is. Felton encounters a life with extraordinary and original challenges. I really like how to author displayed his life with challenges of bullies and bad things in the world. All though these things aren't good, everyone will every so often encounter bad things and the book displays really well how felton takes these things on. Felton is a very confident kid and is good at taking on challenges just like the football team. Stretching himself to do things he thought he could not ever do. One thing during the book I didn’t like was when felton was with his Crush/Girlfriend Aleah. The whole situation was so awkward. When they talked they description of how awkward it was was very real and uncomfortable. I guess I can say that the author is very good at describing how uncomfortable the situation is is a good thing. The worst part was when the families of Felton and Aleah were together. One of my favorite things from the book was the occasional teamwork that the team had. The team in tough times such as felton get hurt at the weight machine or a loss at the game would be very strong. Everyone on the the team cared about everyone it was a very cool touch to the book and it made some of the bad things in the book feel better. Overall this book had a great way of explaining what I thought the the story would been like in real life. There were so many relatable moments, good and bad. But this book is great and I would give it a 8.5/10. I would recommend this book to anyone and they will love it. I will never forget this book.
Felton is 15 and he is stupid fast, but his best friend is leaving for the summer. The jocks want him to start working out for the upcoming football season. The family that has rented out his friend's house contains a talented girl, who thinks Felton is weird, but she likes weird. With new friendships forming and his body changing his mother and his younger brother are getting crazier and crazier. This book takes a while to develop as Felton is not very likable, but he grows on you as the mystery of his father's death and his mother and brother's breakdown starts unfold. A tough topic YA novel under the guise of a sports novel. First in a trilogy.
I wish I could have rated this higher because I seriously loved the character, his voice, and outlook, and the writing was fantastic, but, for me, the story lagged and was slow. I grew frustrated with trying to get to the point. I wondered if it was because it was the audio version, but I loved the narrator too! Which, again, is why I wish I could rate this higher. Definitely recommend it, though. Great male protagonist.
It was really good. One of the better books I've read. I could relate to it a bit more than most of the books I've read. Not with his dad committing suicide, but with his parental situation in general. Like, he has a struggle with that sort of thing, and I go through the same thing with my mom and dad. It hit a little close to home, that's why I liked it so much. Would definitely recommend to anyone. It has a little bit of everything.
Pssh, yeah right, Felton. You're stupid fast all right. But let's face it. You're actually stupid funny as well. Heck, you're also stupid, period, but that's what I like about you.
Stupid Fast was so great. Like, stupid great. I picked up the book thinking it was going to be a typical story about football, sports, and more football and sports. And I didn't mind; I was actually embracing something different.
Only, this book wasn't strictly about football, and wasn't strictly about sports either. It was great, it really was. It had everything I've ever wanted in a book like this. There is finally emotion in a sport-related book. Let me repeat that. There is finally emotion, and humor, and everything great in a sport-related book.
I am very happy about this; it's rare that I find books like this.
On with the story!
Stupid Fast is about a sophomore boy named Felton Reinstein. Also called Rein Stone. Also called Squirrel Nut. Whatever you prefer to call him, it's up to you.
After all, Felton and his best friend call the town people 'honkies'.
Anyways, Felton is stupid fast.
"Is he stupid and fast?" People would ask me.
*facepalm* Seriously guys, how hard is it? "He's so fast that it is stupid fast."
"Ohhh." Though there were still some confused faces. *sigh*
It says it right there on the cover; "The summer I went from a joke to a jock." That is exactly what this book is about.
You see, Felton was scrawny before this summer. But then he ate, and ate, and ate, and slept a lot, and then ate some more. And he grew. A lot.
"'Felton Reinstein,' Coach Johnson said. 'You weigh a hundred and sixty-eight pounds.' 'Whoa,' I said, startled. 'Am I fat?' 'You're a beanpole, Reinstein,'..."
Not only did he become big. He was fast. With his athletic body, the jocks of Bluffton wanted him for their team. Felton had already been on the track team, but then things didn't work out. He had no friends at the point that Cody Frederick asked him to come lift weights with him. Felton's best friend had went to temporarily stay in Venezuela, and his second best friend turned out to be a jerk.
Meanwhile, this girl and her father move into Felton's best friend's house temporarily, and Felton is love-struck. He's also feeling hatred towards Ken Johnson, the boy who is a jerk and who Felton wants to beat at something. Things are also going on at home. When Felton was little, he had found his father in the garage, when he had committed suicide. Now things are just now starting to be weird with the way Jerri —his mother— is acting. Felton might not know it yet, but his mother is sinking into insanity. And his younger brother Andrew is following her lead.
It all just builds up, all of it. How will Felton take it? Will he simply crumble, or will he continue to get bigger and better as an athlete?
Felton is a barbarian! He is huge! He is unstoppable! He is fast! Stupid fast!
What I really love about this book, is that Fenton lies a lot without intending to. For instance, he'll say 'I swear I'm not funny' and then follow the sentence with something really funny. Or also when he apologized for using the word 'retarded' in the wrong context, that his mother doesn't like him to use that word like that, and apologizing to anybody with low IQs. Then he proceeds to fill the next paragraph with the word 'retard' about three times in each sentence! He lies! It's very amusing!
Okay, I just wanted to sneak in my favorite short chapter. It made me laugh so hard, I've never laughed so hard over a chapter!
"Hey, check this out! Imagine some circus music! I have three pairs of clean white socks in my hands, balled up tight by Grandma Berba! I'm juggling them, baby! Three balls! Wooo! 6:12 a.m., and I'm juggling three balls! I can't juggle four balls. I'm juggling three balls! Whoops. Shit! I'm juggling two balls! Sock balls!"
That was beautiful. There are no words to describe how utterly amazing that chapter was. It was so random and downright hilarious. I loved it so much.
I really loved this book a lot. More than I'd expected I would. I knew I'd like it, but I loveStupid Fast! I'd recommend it to anybody, because it's got sports, and it's very funny, though it describes real-life situations and struggles, and it is very realistic. It was a page-turner for sure. Stupid Fast was anything but stupid.
This book was quite amazing. Every chapter made we want to just keep reading. I really liked how you could relate with him. It really made me keep reading because some of the things that happened to him I could relate to. I really like how his life kind of changed and he became this different kid. It definitely related to me a lot because he works so hard to get better. And that was one of my favorite parts because all his hard work paid off and it inspires you to do the same.
Stupid Fast is part situation comedy and part coming-of-age story. It’s set in a small town in Wisconsin and is one teenager’s journey to find out who he is and who he wants to be.
Felton Reinstein is weird. At least he thinks he’s weird. It’s the start of the summer and he’s found out his best friend Gus is going to Venezuela with his mum for the holiday. So Felton has no one else to hang out with – all of the rest of his classmates are jerks or jocks and he wants nothing to do with them. Felton is a dork and hates that the “honkies” call him either Rein Stone or squirrel nuts. But Felton has been undergoing a physical transformation – he’s been growing and eating, eating and growing – and now he’s stupid fast. His coach notices he sudden talent for speed in the physical fitness test and suddenly, everyone is interested in Felton.
But things aren’t so straightforward; Felton is not the most socially adept person. He doesn’t respond well to being the centre of attention. As a child, he had panic attacks. But the saddest thing is that they originated from a trauma in his life. He discovered his dad’s body after he’d committed suicide. Felton will tell you this isn’t a dark story and it isn’t; this is a very daft and funny story. But it doesn’t change the fact that beneath all the humour, Stupid Fast explores challenging issues faced by contemporary teens.
Felton is highly reflective. I’ve never known a teen book character to think so much. Often what we do is out of impulse – and there is much impulsiveness from Felton – but there is also his inner voice analysing the things he says, things other people say and generally offering paranoid reflections on life. Felton wants to hibernate all Summer and his mum is worried about him. The beginning of the story sees them increasingly in conflict. He doesn’t get what her problem is. She forces him to take up Gus’s paper round and that’s when Felton’s motivation changes. A beautiful, talented piano-playing has girl moved into Gus’s house for the summer. Suddenly, he wants to be an athlete. He wants to be popular and not be the loser guy.
Felton explores this new identity and what follows is a coming-of-age novel. But Felton’s challenges lie in his home life. The issue of his father’s suicide has never been discussed. His 13 year old brother Andrew is going all out to get their mum to open up. But she retreats to her room and leaves the boys to fend for themselves. With everything falling apart at home, Felton keeps out of the house and puts all his energies into his running. But of course, you can’t hide from your problems forever, especially, when your little brother needs you.
I really loved the relationship between Felton and Andrew. It had all the expected drama of siblings but there was a believable bond between them. The characterisation in this book is wonderful. The odd behaviours that Felton and Andrew exhibit when emotionally abandoned by their mum are quirky and emotive. I actually had tears in my eyes reading the final chapters and that was not at all what I expected when I started reading this book. It’s not about sport or American football (you might think that from the cover); it’s more about our perceptions of these concepts. There is the stereotype of the “jock” and the “nerd” and this book is really about how we are so much more than labels and can be many different things at the same time. It’s about growing into yourself (in Felton’s case literally) as well as the importance of family and having the chance to experience a proper childhood. It’s heart-warming and touching. Full of witty dialogue, comic scenarios and compelling action Stupid Fast is an excellent read.