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. (Source: Goodreads)
As you can tell from the summary above this is an odd little book. I hoped to love it, but came away with great like for it. You’ve got a part Jew boy raised by his hippie single mom after his dad committed suicide when he was young. This kind of shapes his oddness. Him and his Venezuelan best friend call all of the other kids in their small town honkeys. He is not part of the “in-crowd.”
His odd world gets turned upside-down one summer when his best friend leaves for the summer and the coaches discover his speed. Add fuel to the fire, his mother loses her marbles. He really doesn’t know how to handle being the man of the house, big brother that needs leaned on, the attention of the coaches and athletes, the new girl in town, and the kids that treat him like a Squirrel Nut.
What I really liked about this book was Felton’s ability to really appreciate other people’s talents. He recognizes his brother’s and Aleah’s, the new girl in town, ability to play the piano. But he also finds great joy in watching and listening to them. I also liked that there was some “cool” kids and athletes that really welcomed Felton into the club. It did stem from his ability to run, but you’ll see that they don’t waiver from the friendship offered.
What was harder to handle was Felton’s short clippy way of thinking and talking. It made for a choppy read. Also his mom is off the charts cookoo. We do find out more about why, but the reasoning was a bit weak. Felton was a pretty sucky brother during this time resulting in him doing some bizarro acting out too. It all comes together in the end. A great debut novel.
Being stupid fast isn’t necessarily a good thing, unless you can run Superman-fast to turn back time and fix a few things.