Book Review: Stupid Fast
Review of Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
my rating: cool +
pages: 311 (paperback)
I started reading this book awhile ago because I hadn’t realized Nothing Special was the sequel. So I got Stupid Fast out and started it. At first I was like “eh” but then I got interested in the character of Felton who was a complete spaz most of the time. He’s at the end of his freshman year of high school when he discovers he can run. And fast. Stupid fast. And he loves it. He joins the track team and pretty soon he catches the eye of the football coach.
But summer comes and brings even more changes than his sudden growth spurt (over 6 feet already) and the sprouting of hair everywhere. His best friend, Gus, has to go away for the summer, and a pretty girl moves into his house with her professor father. Then his mother starts to go crazy and pretty much drags his little brother, Andrew, down with her.
Through it all Felton continues to run. But that doesn’t really help anything when his mother stops doing motherly things leaving the boys to fend for themselves. Felton lets his growing frustration and anger out on his brother who is acting weirder than normal.
I had to stop reading this book about halfway through because another library book was due and I needed to read it. I finally picked Stupid Fast back up the other day and was instantly hooked back in. I really related to Felton which is funny because I’m neither super tall, Jewish or stupid fast. In fact I’m kind of allergic to exercise. I prefer to curl into a comfy chair to read, watch some sci-fi or write. But the awkwardness, confusion and feeling of loneliness I got. I felt like that as a teen and I still feel like that as an adult. Sorry, Felton, sometimes it doesn’t get any easier.
I loved the way he cycled between emotions, from trying to help his family to not caring to feeling like a jerk. He was a very well rounded character and felt real. Like I figure a teenage boy might feel. I really liked that he wasn’t portrayed as some super tough guy that never got upset. Felton cried often, completely overwhelmed by his situation and his feeling.
I have two sons myself, the oldest turning twelve in the fall and he’s already five feet tall, predicted to be at least six feet. I kept picturing Owen in Felton’s situation and wondering how he would handle it.
All in all I really liked Stupid Fast. A lot of the dialogue felt off, stilted and too formal but that seemed to be a quirk of the characters. The whole book was kind of quirky having chapters in the “present” where Felton explained how he couldn’t sleep and was thinking back to the summer. The rest of the chapters were the “past” as Felton describes what happened. By the end of the book I found myself wanting to know more of Felton’s life. I wanted to know what happened when school started and how he got his two groups of friends to fit together. I guess I have to read Nothing Special to find out.
I give this book the rating of Cool + because it left me with a good time feeling and wanting more but I was able to put it down for weeks and not care.