From the Publisher
"I haven't read too many YA books told from a male perspective, and I have to say I was totally impressed with Felton's voice. The tone is conversational and funny, and Felton is an authentic and endearing character...This is a great series that teen boys especially will love." - The Reading Date
"Felton and Andrew are both appealing . . . readers who like their funny stories mixed with sports will root for the siblings' reconciliation." - Booklist
""A great male protagonist, and a fun story."- Blogger Rhiannon, The Diary of a Bookworm " - The Diary of a Bookworm
""Herbach's writing style is so much fun, and you will find yourself alternately laughing out loud, cringing, and maybe even shedding a small tear for Felton, as he comes to terms with forsaking what makes him special."- Blogger Cupcake, Cupcake's Book Cupboard " - Cupcake Book Cupboard
""Geoff Herbach brings another very uniquely written book to the table with Nothing Special. "- Blogger Lisa, Lisa's World of Books " - Lisa's World of Books
""This book blends humor with honest questions and realizations about family and life in an almost seamless way."- Blogger Jordyn, Ten Cent Notes" - Ten Cent Notes
""With this book, Herbach brings to fruition the exploration he began in the first novel of how a parent's suicide has a profound ripple effect on the lives of his family for years beyond the event. The combination of outrageous circumstances and humor expertly balances out the very serious issues of guilt, anger, and mental and emotional collapse. Felton's voice is fresh and believable as a teen on the edge of manhood. Boys especially will discover kindred spirits in Felton and Andrew. Kudos to Herbach for this deep, moving, LOL funny, and completely original story." - School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
Summer for football and track star Felton Reinstein is not going at all according to plan. His girlfriend Aleah suddenly wants to take a break overseas, his best friend acts inexplicably cruel and his younger brother just plain bizarre. In letters to Aleah which he logs on his computer but doesn't send, Felton finds his only release. And he needs that, especially once he discovers his younger brother hasn't really gone to orchestra camp and has run away to Florida. As Felton begins to piece together how his own actions have hurt others, he realizes he must travel to Florida and find his brother to make things right. Nothing Special is a sharp first-person narrative, full of the soul and struggle of changing relationships. Felton's journey to reconcile how he sees himself and his relationships with others with the way family and friends view him is told with wit, humor and charm. It is a poignant tale of the power of forgiveness and the bonds of family. Recommended.
VOYA - Kate Conklin
Nothing Special is the sequel to Stupid Fast (Sourcebooks, 2011/Voya June 2011) in which Geoff Herbach continues the story of Felton Reinstein's rise to athletic infamy. The story is told by Felton as a letter to his girlfriendan apology, reallywhile he tries to make it down to Florida before he has to return for the first football game of his senior season. Felton walks Aleah through his quest to discover where his fourteen-year-old brother has disappeared to, because he is certain it is not orchestra camp on Lake Michigan. Struggling with his talented, suicidal father's legacy, Felton and Andrew find different ways to make their own happiness in life. Herbach succeeds in portraying the stress and confusion facing Felton as he tries to decide what to do with his talent and with his life. The road trip story gets a little confusing when the teenager is on his way to Florida in present time as well as months before the apology letter is written. While the voice of the main character remains authentic to his age and circumstances, this may not be as popular as other first-person, male-character contemporary novels due to the heavy focus on athletic ability and confusing tense changes. Reviewer: Kate Conklin
Over the course of a cataclysmically awful trip, Felton Reinstein journals for his girlfriend about breakthroughs in his familial relationships. Last year, at 15, nerdy Felton hit a growth spurt and became Stupid Fast (2011), a track star and a football star. This year, with his girlfriend Aleah in Germany, Felton must deal with his fame and the possibility that his younger brother Andrew could be falling apart. Andrew has convinced their mother to let him go to band camp, but Felton discovers that Andrew, usually the sane member of the family, has in fact run away to Florida. An impromptu road trip with erstwhile best friend Gus turns up surprising reasons for Andrew's escape. Herbach's sophomore effort is impenetrable to those who have not read his first, due to a complete lack of character introductions. The conceit of telling the tale of the road trip while on a different trip is a convoluted one that buries the heart of this potentially touching tale in a flabby, confusing construct few readers will enjoy. Felton's voice is frenetic, often annoyingly self-deprecating and repetitious; his fans are the only ones who need apply. If Herbach had avoided playing narrative games and just run with his story, this might have been something special. (Fiction. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this sequel to Stupid Fast (Sourcebooks, 2011), Herbach continues the saga of the dysfunctional Reinstein family. Written as a journal from 17-year-old Felton's perspective, the story follows the teen's journey to bring his runaway brother home. In the wake of his mother's mental breakdown and Felton's rise to fame as a sports phenomenon, Andrew feels lost and, well, like nothing special. He travels to Florida to finally meet his father's relatives in hopes of figuring out where he fits in his crazy family. What Andrew doesn't realize is the scope of his grandfather's bitterness over his son's suicide. After a wild, hazardous trip with his best friend, Felton arrives in Florida and becomes involved in a cousin's elaborate scheme to fool their grandfather into liking his grandsons before he discovers who they really are. The jig is up when the grandfather recognizes Felton's tennis style as that of his deceased son's. After an explosive exchange, Felton takes off, but Andrew stays and helps to smooth the way toward reconciliation. With this book, Herbach brings to fruition the exploration he began in the first novel of how a parent's suicide has a profound ripple effect on the lives of his family for years beyond the event. The combination of outrageous circumstances and humor expertly balances out the very serious issues of guilt, anger, and mental and emotional collapse. Felton's voice is fresh and believable as a teen on the edge of manhood. Boys especially will discover kindred spirits in Felton and Andrew. Kudos to Herbach for this deep, moving, LOL funny, and completely original story.—Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Read an Excerpt
August 20th, 1:33 a.m.
Hey, Aleah, I just thought I'd drop this in, because it's sort of interesting to know what Andrew was thinking back in January, before he got messed up. From his blog at feltonreistein.com:
Felton is Number 2!
"Reinstein is the rarest of athletes, a freak of nature with great size and speed combined with crazy-quick animal reflexes. That Reinstein has played just one season of organized football should strike fear in the hearts of coming opponents and has already caused seismic recruiting efforts among collegiate programs across the nation."-Wisconsin State Journal
You probably already know this, but Felton has been deemed the #2 sports story in the state of Wisconsin for the year (right behind the Green Bay Packers' mid-season resurgence-I had no idea they had gone downhill ever-I pay no attention to professional athletics).
We had six State Journal newspapers jammed in our door, and Felton had approximately ten million voice mail messages from people wanting to congratulate him.
Did Felton celebrate this coverage? Not at all. He went running for about ten minutes. Then he came back because he kept falling down in the snow. (Snow hasn't stopped him before, I promise you.) He watched TV for ten minutes and groaned about how he'd seen every COPS episode ever made. Then he went to bed. It's not even dinnertime yet.
Jerri is concerned for him. I suppose he is feeling pressure. Why, though? He likes playing football. He just has to do what he likes. That is easy.
Jerri is making him some hamburgers for dinner. She's a terrible cook. Maybe he'll sleep through it? I won't, unfortunately.
Happy New Year!