Customer Reviews for

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Amazing book!!

Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes is about an odd friendship between two kids in high school with different but equal problems. Sarah Byrnes is horribly burnt and the main character Eric Calhoune is just overweight, but is constantly picked on. Sarah begins to shut out the w...
Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes is about an odd friendship between two kids in high school with different but equal problems. Sarah Byrnes is horribly burnt and the main character Eric Calhoune is just overweight, but is constantly picked on. Sarah begins to shut out the world and Eric is left to pick up the pieces to figure out why, and to find out the secret she's been keeping all the years of their friendship. Eric begins to slowly understand Sarah's secret and tries to do something about it. Taking an unexpected twist in events the novel turns into something more than friendship. It takes a glimpse into the debate of abortion, religion and family issues. Creating an environment any teenager can relate to. The book is very serious at times but also contains a lot of comic relief. Both flow into each other well and will either leave you laughing or dying to keep reading. This book is very realistic when it comes to high school. The author includes a swimming team, which Eric is part of, and the bully everyone is afraid of. The author also gives a strong message. Will friendship be everlasting through thick and thin or will it crumble beneath the weight of the pressures of society. Overall i absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a different kind of novel. A great break from the routine. So will the friendship of Sarah and Eric prevail or will it be lost? Well you'll just have to read the book and find out.

posted by Jasmine_F on December 4, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Oh Chris

This book was just plain annoying. Chris Crutcher's agenda was so obvious and obnoxious, it made me mad. Only half the book was spent on the plot, the other half was spent bashing someone for their beliefs and making this one stereotypical character look like a real j...
This book was just plain annoying. Chris Crutcher's agenda was so obvious and obnoxious, it made me mad. Only half the book was spent on the plot, the other half was spent bashing someone for their beliefs and making this one stereotypical character look like a real jerk. The plot and catchy title looked intriguing, but it was hidden too deep underneath the annoying characters. This wasn't the first time this happened with a Chris Crutcher novel. In his other book I read called The Sledding Hill, in which Crutcher also ignores the plot in order to push his own agenda. Had potential, but I was left disappointed.

posted by Awesomeness1 on June 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    How she got her scars

    She got her scars when she was younger by dumping a pot of boiling water on her self but not on propose. Her dad wouldnt let the doctors fix her face. It says so in the begining of the book so if u r still confused it could help if u reread it.

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  • Posted December 5, 2011

    Wonderful, a book any teenager can read and enjoy!

    Teenage life is a mess. Nothing goes the way you want it and school makes it seem like you have another life to live during the day. But Eric Calhoune has found an escape from both, swimming. Though swimming has now taken away his time with his friend, Sarah Byrnes, he cares deeply for her and it. When she goes to the hospital, not talking and acknowledging anyone, he makes the time for both. After his swim practice he visits her, tells her about his day, swim, and the person he likes, a girl in his class. Eric talks to her until he finds out the real reason for her being in the hospital. He alone plots a way to save her until he lets it slip and angers her. She later agrees with him after she exposes her own secret. All through the book you see a glimpse into a teen¿s world, sex, religion, family, and lies, the things that parents are never involved in for fear of judgement. But when Eric finds himself in trouble with Sarah and her father, he involves his swim couch for help. Read the adventure no one ever cares to hear as you follow two social outcast through an unheard of account. Your emotions will follow Eric as you feel joyous and at the break of tears. Your heart will cry for more as you wait for the calm after the storm for these character's lives to go back into place. You just have to read it to find that calm and theirs. Chris Crutcher is a truly amazing author with this novel, you will want to read it over and over again, you will never become tired of it. I truly advise you to read it and enjoy it to its fullest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    I care!

    I think this book was very good it appeals to everyone in the teen area and above the teen age. This book is a great book it was very helpful for people in tough situations and how to deal with tough problem and situation on how to get out of them. You will be at the edge of your seat reading this book and you won't want to stop reading it. This book will shock you when you finish the book. I was surprised at the ending of the story.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    A Real Eye- Opener!

    Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a novel that will strum your heartstrings. It tells the story of two high school students who go through many trials and dilemmas throughout their senior year. Eric Calhoun, an excessively overweight boy and a disfigured girl, Sarah Byrnes, have been best friends since middle school and were even involved in an underground school newspaper scandal together; however, Sarah Byrnes was burned at age three in a shadowy accident after which her mom left her. Sarah Byrnes has built up a bulwark against taunts and bullying as she's grown older. So, it is no surprise that when Eric joins the swim team and starts to slim down Sarah Byrnes doesn't seem affected by it, on the outside. Eric still tries to stay fat for her but, she makes him stop bulking up and as a result, he become more attractive and jock-like. Eric and Sarah Byrnes drift apart a little bit after a while. The only problem is, as Eric becomes more and more popular, Sarah's dark and foreboding past is creeping closer and closer to her, putting herself and everyone she loves in danger. Sarah needs to find her mom and set things straight. Will she make it back in time to protect those she loves or, will they fall victim to the looming disaster that has been following her since age three? I think this book deserves four stars out of five. It hooked the reader and made them want to finish reading but, at the same time, it was kind of slow and not as interesting in the beginning or during the flashbacks. Overall, though, this was a very good book because of the action and suspense that kept the reader on the very edge of their seat waiting for more. All in all I think the story of Eric and Sarah Byrnes will really warm your heart and keep you tottering on the edge of your seat waiting for more, "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," is a novel I would highly recommend for just a read on a rainy day or, if you want to curl up with a fantastic book. I would highly recommend this book for people who enjoy realistic fiction stories. The age groups I would suggest would be, ages fourteen to adults because of certain adolescent content.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Recommended- MUST READ!!!

    Eric is an eighteen year old guy, who strives to help his friend, Sarah. They have been best friends forever and both have flaws; Sarah has burn marks on her face and Eric is fat. They've been through thick and thin; everything possible you could think of. Until Sarah is located in a psych ward, where she says nothing and no one knows exactly why she is there either. Eric is going crazy not knowing why his best friend is there, until something materializes that will change their friendship forever. Will the two be reunited as best friends or enemies? Why one of them is in a psych ward and the other isn't?

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended for Teens- you must check it out!

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes - Chris Crutcher
    Title of review: A story of love and courage.
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 4

    Introduction
    Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a touching book. Sarah had a best friend named Eric. They were both outcasts when they were in school. Sarah and Eric both had problems through their lives. They were always by each others side.
    Description and summary of main points
    Sarah was put in a special unit at Sacred Heart. She sits silent while Eric comes to visit her. Eric was on the swim team. He always ate extra just for Sarah. Sarah is the smartest, toughest person Eric knows. Eric discovers the secret Sarah hides behind her scars.
    Evaluation
    I think this is a great book for teenagers to read. I would not recommend any child under the age of thirteen to read this book. It has inappropriate content such as cuss words, abortion, and many other topics.
    Conclusion: In the end Mrs. Lemry and her husband adopt Sarah. She can now have a normal life. Eric finally gets Jody and they can love each other now. Everything works out in the end.

    Your final review
    The author of this book, Chris Crutcher, did an amazing job writing the book. I will definitely tell other people about this book. It can connect with your life. You may have a bully at your school or at work. This really ties you in with the book and you feel like you are a part of the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    this is a GREAT book for up coming teens!!!

    There is indeed a book that tells of an experience of teens may go through in days like this. In the book, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher, the reader gets to read and feel like the reader is also going through the same troubles and hardships the main characters go through in the book. Kids in these days may go through more than the reader expects. They way must come up with devious ideas to get away from a threatening, abusing, horrifying father, Virgil Byrnes.
    Description and summary of main points
    Two teens that must muster up new ways to outsmart an abusive father is Eric Calhoun and Sarah Byrnes. Sarah was burned when she was three years old. Then her mother left and never came back to talk or to see her own daughter. Sarah goes to a hospital to avoid her father. She pretends she cannot talk. Then her childhood and still recent friend Eric comes and visits everyday and tries to get Sarah to talk, and when she does Eric learns the true way how she got burned. Not by boiling spaghetti at least. Never judge a book by its cover. It looks like a boring book from the front but it is a very interesting book.
    Evaluation
    The two friends go on a wild roller coaster. (Not physically ride a roller coaster) but they must get away from Sarah's father before he hurts anymore people. When Sarah was a kid she told everyone that she was burned by boiling spaghetti. She was lying. Eventually Sarah does tell the truth to someone. It's not Eric or any type of authority. She tells her and Eric's middle school enemy. Dale Thornton. She actually tells him that her dad was trying to drown her mom in a sink full of water and Sarah ran up and hit her dad and he grabbed Sarah and put a wooden stove up to her face. Burned her whole face and when Sarah tried to get the stove off she burned her hands too. Now Sarah is scarred for life.
    Conclusion
    This book is very catchy. Every chapter keeps you hooked. With the chase chapters with them running from Virgil. The books overall review was a good book. It kept me hooked.
    Your final review
    The overall rating of this book is a 4.5. It keeps the reader hooked. The only problem is the vile language. Personally, I do not like bad words like that. Good book though.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    superb book!

    Staying fat for sarah byrnes is a great book about trust and the truth, and how sometimes the truth isn't spoken. Sarah byrnes is an eighteen year old girl who has been forced to live with terrible scarring on her face since she was only three years old. At that age she was burned by " a boiling pot of spaghetti". She is known to have a menacing father who is always hovering over her. Eric Calhoun is the main character. He has been sarahs best friend since grade school and eric has been "staying fat" for her the whole time.

    When sarah stops talking and goes into the hospital, many questions arise considering how her face was really burned and why she is being quiet. An old friend dale, and eric reunite to solve this mystery with the help of ellerby, eric's friend, all the while eric has some problems of his own. Will they uncover the mystery of why sarah is quiet? Will eric resolve his problems? Youll have to read to find out!

    This is a great book. It ties you in with every page and if you can handle profanity, it is a superb book.there is some slow parts but every book has to have these. But itll all lead up to a very climatic ending

    This book is a good picture of a modern society in an urban town in washigton it shows that sometimes you cant tell the truth and others it's the only choice you have.
    Your final review
    4 and 5/8 stars out of 5

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    good book

    The main theme is never judge a book by its cover. This is because Sarah Byrnes had a mental condition and people we constantly judging her because of her burns. She always acted tough but in the end, needed all the friends she could get. This book helped me understand other peoples situations, and how to learn to understand other people. Sarah Byrnes and Eric Calhoune were friends in grade school and they have been ever since. One day Sarah Byrnes stops talking and goes to the psychiatric unit in the hospital. When Sarah Byrnes was three years old she claims that a boiling pot of spaghetti fell on her face, arms, and hands. But some people do not believe her. Eric's dad left him and his mother before he was born. Sarah was always worried that Eric would leave her for other friends, so she learned to let go early. Sarah was abused early on and has been all her life. Eric helps her get through all the tough spots in her life. This type of style of the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is really good for teenagers. It helps you relate because almost everybody has a friend with issues; big or small. Plus, it is easy to follow and makes it very easy to relate too. They characters are easy to relate to because it in the perspective of teens. This book really helps teenagers learn about life because of all of the life experiences all of the characters go through. They all go through a lot like love, abuse, suicide, and other life changing events in a teenage life. This book achieved its purpose because it really gets across the points "Don't judge a book by its cover". Everybody judged Sarah, but not Eric. He never left. Compared to the Outsiders, Stay Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a better book. It is easier to relate too because in both books they go through fighting and struggles mentally and physically. This book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes really helps teenagers learn about life. It makes you feel like you have known Sarah just as long as Eric has. It can truly change the lives of many people and hopefully it does. This book puts you in real life situations and makes you think twice.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Great Book

    Being there for your friends is one of the best traits to have. It is also very important to never abandon your friends. That is the main idea of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Sarah Byrnes is in the hospital and is refusing to talk. Eric Calhoun has been her friend since the 8th grade. He was fat because he would gorge himself so that he could still be friends with Sarah Byrnes but then he was on the swim team so he shaved off a lot of weight. He was frightened he would not be able to be friends with Sarah Byrnes. So now he stays fat for Sarah Byrnes by rejecting offers to go places if Sarah Byrnes is not invited. This book shows how to stand up for your friends even when your life is threatened. After reading this book I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This book was very inspiring and teaches how to be a good friend.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Captivating Book that Exposes the Truth About Reality

    Eric Calhoune (a formerly obese kid) and Sarah Byrnes (a girl with burns all along half of her face) have gotten themselves into deep trouble. This book, intended for teenagers and adults, shows the reader the dangers that lie behind an innocent looking person, and what courage can do if you put it to good use. Coming from the author who won the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes starts off with us learning about how Eric and Sarah develop their friendship in middle school. Now in high school, Eric and Sarah aren't best friends, but they still care about each other. Suddenly, Sarah is checked into the psychiatric ward of the hospital. Eric soon finds out she is unresponsive, and goes to visit her. As he tries to talk to her, secrets unfold about her dark and frightful past, and making Eric make courageous decisions that gets him into more trouble than he could ever imagined. Based on the plot, life lessons, and the development of the characters, I gave this book 4 ½ stars. Teaching the reader the frightful reality of the relationship between some parents and their children was the goal of this novel. This book definitely achieves that goal. Compared to other books in the realistic fiction genre, this book is exquisite and brings the story to life through its vivid diction. This book shows the reader the crisis' that can come with a friendly person, and what bravery can do in a bad situation. Once again, this book follows Sarah Byrnes and Eric Calhoune and their journey from middle school to high school, and then Eric diving into the dark past that hides behind Sarah. I highly recommend this book because it brings a real life situation into words, getting the readers to sympathize with Sarah and Eric. Through its thrilling plotline, frightening life lessons, and the excellent development of the characters, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is an excellent read that focuses on real issues. Other than some profanity used, this book was an exceptional book, and it truly deserves 4 ½ stars.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended-you need to check it out!!!!

    You should always be present for your friends. No matter what they are going through they need somebody to lean on. Plus, you should never judge a book by its cover because you do not what they have gone through. This book is great for teens to help them with reaching out to people they do not well. This book helps teenagers learn about life. Sarah Byrnes and Eric Calhoune are really good friends. One day Sarah Byrnes stops conversation and goes to the psychiatric unit in the hospital. When Sarah Byrnes was three years old she claims that a boiling pot of spaghetti fell on her face, arms, and hands. But some people do not believe her. Eric's dad left him and his mother before he was born. They are best friends for one reason, because they both have something wrong with them. For Sarah Byrnes it is her burns on her face, arms, and hands. But, for Eric it is that he is fat. He tries out for swimming, and he makes the team. Sarah is abused child. This type of style of the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is really good for teenagers. It helps you relate because the type of inscription is how teenagers talk to one another. Plus, it is easy to follow and makes it very easy to relay too. They characters are very easy to relate to because of the way the author describes them. This book really helps teenagers discover about life because of all of the life experiences all of the characters go through. They all go through a lot like love, abuse, suicide, and other life changing events in a teenager/child's life. This book achieved its purpose because it really gets across the points "Don't judge a book by its cover", and never leaves your friends. Be there through thick and thin with them. Compared to the Outsiders, Stay Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a better book. It is easier to relate too because it is written in modern day. Unlike The Outsiders which was written about thirty years ago. This book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes really helps teenagers learn about life. It gives experiences that can actually happen to any person if they let it. But, they can be prevented. You should never judge a book by its cover. This I because you do not know what they have gone through in their life, like Sarah Byrnes and Eric Calhoune. This was a very good book, but I did not like the way it ended. If profanity bothers you then this book is not one you should read because it has a lot in the book. Overall, this was a very good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

    Have you ever wanted to see a real act of courage and see how far ones friendship can go with another? Well in the book, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes author Chris Crutcher shows how hard it is for many teens and what they must go through to get out of the situation they may be in. All over I rate this book a good 4, because it has a good theme and a back bone story to it.
    Description and summary of main points
    There is a young boy named Eric Calhoun and he is Sarah Byrnes best friend and only friend. Sarah has had a rough past from her dad beating her to the scares that are permanently left on her face, but these two friends must overcome Vigil Byrnes and get rid of him. He has been a threat to Sarah since she was born. This book is mainly being judged upon how interesting it is and how it keeps the readers focus. Sarah and Eric go through many struggles such as a few hospital visits and they also even go to Reno, but through all of this they still stay good friends and they show more courage than any other teenagers I have ever seen or even read about.
    Evaluation
    Two friends go on a wild adventure with each other but through it all they stay good friends and they overcome all the obstacles they come upon. In the story they had very good real life events going on that helped make it interesting and helps it click with young kids who may read this. I think the book does give good advice to children because it shows how some kids don't have it as easier as others and sums life's aren't as good as yours so you need to always be careful about what you say and always be nice to others. Out of all the books in this genre this book must rate one of the best because it has good information and a good meaning.
    Conclusion
    In the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes the story line is very strong and it is a very well written book. The book starts with two friends they have a hard time growing up and they go through school being really good friends and they just depend on each other and as they grow up they go through many great adventures but end up staying good friends in the end. Overall I found this book to be really good and got a good point across to me.
    Your final review
    Overall I found this book to be very interesting. The topic this author wrote on was a very good topic and he issued very good information about it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    Outstanding!

    I The book, "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," is one that not only entertains the audience but keeps them reading. Eric Calhoune and his friend Sarah Byrnes travel through the journey of adolescence troubling over physical appearances. Sarah, at the age of three, claims that a boiling pot of spaghetti falls onto her face and leaves behind repulsive burns. Eric, being Sarah's only friend, gives her a chance to stay away from the terrible family life at home. After being fat for 8 school years he becomes skinny, leaving Sarah with another friend, Dale Thorton. Eric and Sarah come across many obstacles leading them in to deeper trouble throughout the book. This book is a great novel and should be shared with other readers. When Eric finds Sarah Byrnes in Sacred Heart Psychiatric Unit they come across conflicts that affect their lives majorily. As she stays in the hospital "non-responsive," Eric is harassed by her father, Virgil Byrnes, and becomes closer to a former enemy, Dale Thorton. When the truth unravels about Sarah's burns Eric realizes how bad she really has it. Throughout the book he finds that friendship is one of the most important values in life. He also mentions several times,"ain't it a trip where heroes come from?" After reading it, this book is one of my favorites! Throughout the whole book it keeps you wondering what will happen next. The characters, Sarah Byrnes and Eric Calhoune Show bravery and the true meaning of friendship, making them great role models to the reader. The plot makes you realize how lucky you are to not have a trouble family life and to have real friends. It makes you really think, "How fortunate am I really to have this life?" The book overall really teaches the lesson of friendship and family. It gets its point across and I highly recommend this book to any readers 13+. This book relates to "The Outsiders," by S.E. Hinton. It teaches the real meaning of friendship just like the book "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes." This book truly is great for teen readers. Throughout the book as Eric and Sarah reach new heights after every obstacle another one comes along. Sarah's family life and physical appearance troubles give her a hard life that most people are fortunate enough not to have. As they continue to be harassed throughout the book they finally come to a resolution, relieving them. Teen readers would love this book because of the ways they can we relate to Eric and Sarah's lives. This book is an amazing choice to read and I highly recommend it to teen readers.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Great Book!

    Eric Calhoune takes on the task of doing whatever it takes to help Sarah Byrnes. Why? She was his best friend because he was fat, and she was burned. This all began when one day Sarah Byrnes quit talking and ended up in Sacred Heart. When Eric found out why, and told his coach, Lemry, she became angry and started talking and ran away. Then Eric had to fight the struggle of her abusive and dangerous father. All the while, Eric was able to grow closer to his mothers' boyfriend. Happily Ever After.It was good book. Period

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    Good and Realistic Book!

    Eric Calhoune and Sarah Byrnes have been friends for a long time, mostly because they are both outsiders. Eric is overweight and Sarah Byrnes' face is scarred badly from dropping a pot of boiling water on her face when she was little. But one day, as seniors, Sarah Byrnes stops moving and talking. She is then taken to the hospital.
    Eric recalls many stories of their past as he talks to Sarah Byrnes, trying to get her to snap out of it. Meanwhile, Eric's life goes on. He goes to swim meets, argues in CAT class, and more. He even remains friends with Sarah Byrnes after he slimmed down, and he didn't have to talk to her. When secrets like how Sarah Byrne's face got burned are uncovered, more dramatic events unfold. Issues such as abuse, abortion, and suicide are all addressed.
    This book was consistently exciting and dramatic. It dealt with common teen issues and can relate to anyone.
    I would recommend this book to 8th grade and up. Some parts of the book seem to be meant for adults.
    Your final review
    While some jokes in the book seem to be meant for adults, children would like the book. It is funny and is about events that actually happen, making it relatable. It makes to realize just how terrible of an environment some children have to put up with, and that they CAN get help.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Read it.

    This book captures the way all teens think and allows readers to catch a glimpse in teen life and thinking by two very unusual characters. Eric and Sarah two unlikely friends are bound by social out casting and bodily defects teach a great lesson about: love, trust, doing the right thing, bullies, and much more. This book teaches you that you can always be accepted and that no matter what try to overcome it all because you can bet it. Eric stared out fat but due to swimming he lost his weight and stayed friends with Sarah. Sarah finally found love and was safe from harm. She overcame her disfigurement to teach us all about acceptance. Sarah and Eric both reverse what society thinks and are heroes of this story. Crutcher weaved this story perfectly to where it was unpredictable all the way through and at the end you felt that you were pulled into the story and were living the scenes as they happened. I would recommend this book to anyone but it is a little vulgar so you might want to watch who reads it because it is a teen up book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    Great Read!

    Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes was a not at all what I expected. I usually stick to books generally referred to as "chick-lit," and based on this book's cover and synopsis, I immediately disregarded it as something outside of my usual genre. However, while it was most definitely different than what I regularly read, I enjoyed it just the same. Since grade school, Sarah Byrnes's disfiguring scars have made her an outcast and the subject of severe teasing just as Eric's fat has made him the brunt of endless jokes. Facing mutual cruelty drew them together, and years later as high school seniors, Sarah and Eric remain the best of friends. However, Eric, now slim due to competitive swimming, cannot believe that his toughest friend sits silently in a psych ward. As he does everything he can to help Sarah, he discovers that she has a few more secrets than she ever let on. I really enjoyed how realistic this book was. Crutcher did an excellent job of creating very believable characters with distinct personalities, and throughout the course of the book I genuinely came to care about them. Contemporary teen issues are discussed and portrayed reasonably, and though heart-wrenching, are not sugarcoated. Wit, suspense, and thoughtfulness perfect Crutcher's masterpiece. My only complaint about this book is its pace. I felt that the beginning (which mainly focused on Eric's junior high flashbacks) was slow, while the ending moved much too quickly after a shocking climax. Overall, I highly recommend Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes to all teens, and even adults too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    read this

    This book captures the way all teens think and allows readers to catch a glimpse in teen life and thinking by two very unusual characters. Eric and Sarah two unlikely friends are bound by social out casting and bodily defects teach a great lesson about: love, trust, doing the right thing, bullies, and much more. This book teaches you that you can always be accepted and that no matter what try to overcome it all because you can bet it. Eric stared out fat but due to swimming he lost his weight and stayed friends with Sarah. Sarah finally found love and was safe from harm. She overcame her disfigurement to teach us all about acceptance. Sarah and Eric both reverse what society thinks and are heroes of this story. Crutcher weaved this story perfectly to where it was unpredictable all the way through and at the end you felt that you were pulled into the story and were living the scenes as they happened. I would recommend this book to anyone but it is a little vulgar so you might want to watch who reads it because it is a teen up book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    Looking Beyond the Burns

    When you think of a good fiction book you probably think of the typical books where the cheerleader dates the quarterback, the princess finds her prince, or the "hero" saves the day. All of these might make for a good story but the combination of an ugly girl, a fat boy, and a crazy father make for an interesting and entertaining novel that has a moral that all of us can relate to but also provides an exciting plot line that keeps the reader interested. This is established in the novel Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher. Sarah Byrnes has grown up on the outside, never able to fit in because of the horrible burns on her face that were caused when she supposedly pulled a pot of boiling spaghetti on top of her. She never had a true friend until she met Eric Calhoun, a fellow outsider that was overweight. These two unlikely friends bonded over their aesthetic problems and began to seek revenge on the people who made them outcasts ...until Eric starts to lose weight from swimming. They drift apart until one day Sarah Byrnes stops talking and ends up in the mental ward of Sacred Heart Hospital. Eric is determined to ascertain what, or who, caused her to stop talking so he recruits Mrs. Lemry, the teacher of their Contemporary American Thought Class. She helps Eric discover what really happened to Sarah Byrnes and helps her recover from her unfortunate past. Readers will love this comical story about two friends who are learning what it is like to enjoy life. Unfortunately, this book has a large amount of profanity so parents should approve the read. No, this book is not a fairy tale but it will leave a lasting impression on you and make you think twice before treating someone that has a disfigurement badly. It teaches you that you never know someone until you look beyond the burns.

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