Stupid Fast

Stupid Fast

3.9 32
by Geoff Herbach
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Adult author Herbach (The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg) delivers an alternately fascinating and awkward novel that sometimes seems to exist in denial of its own characters. Felton Reinstein's late puberty during his sophomore year turned him into an incredible runner, which has landed him on both the track and football teams. Socially isolated, he is resigned to a lonely summer with his unpredictable widowed mother and piano-prodigy younger brother. But things become complicated as Felton meets beautiful new girl Aleah, he is drawn into the football team's summer workouts, and his home life disintegrates. Herbach's story would be typical but for a narrative style that clearly paints Felton as developmentally disabled ("I sweated in my tight jeans because it was summer. I smelled the pee-smell of my own athlete's body"). This offers potential, but it's wasted by the denial practiced by practically everyone he deals with, including his mother (who, admittedly, has problems of her own). Instead of coming across as an actual element of his character, Felton's narrative voice reads as merely "quirky," and it creates issues that aren't adequately addressed. Ages 12–up. (June)
YA Love
...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?!

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! - YA Love

From the Publisher
"...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?!

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!" - YA Love

" In this struggling and often clueless teen, Herback has created an endearing character coming to terms with his past and present in a small, well-defined Wisconsin town." - Booklist

" Herback is at this peak limning the confusion and frustration of a young man who no longer recognizes his own body, and Felton's self-deprecation take on his newly awarded A-list status is funny and compelling." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This story has a little bit of everything: the challenges of growing up, the issues surrounding interracial romance, navigating tough class issues, and a narrator who is one of the most real, honest, and still funny male voices to come around in a while." - Yalsa

"STUPID FAST is a great addition to a genre that is lacking in stories based around a main male teenage character." - An Avid Reader's Musings

"Geoff Herbach does a nice job of getting into Felton's mind and presenting his thoughts in a realistic tone." - Reading Vacation

"Felton Reinstein is one of my favorite male protagonists of the year." - Happy Nappy Bookseller

"Stupid Fast is Geoff's debut novel and I can say this is the most pleasant surprise so far this year!" - Cari's Book Blog

"I fully admit that I devoured this book in one complete sitting. The mixture of serious emotions, life changing discoveries, and all out humor, made Stupid Fast a book that I simply couldn't set down." - Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

"Delving straight into the teenage boy mind and hitting on topics both funny and hefty, Stupid Fast hits right into the struggles of a teenage guy from first love to finding himself to dealing with a quirky family in a great way. With a main character that truly is "average," a jerk at times and a total sweetheart at others, confused and awkward but then confidant and sure, this one is engaging and real. Through rambling in voice at times, and most definitely very boy in a way that could be a turn off to some female readers, the story is well written and well developed, providing a solid debut." - A Good Addiction

"In the end Fenton's sarcasm, anxiety, self-doubt, thoughtfulness, and compassion carry the day and perfectly capture the voice of his generation." - School Library Journal

"Reading Felton's thoughts, feelings, fears, and frustrations are sometimes funny as well as touching, revealing his gentle and sensitive side amidst the stupid. This title provides a great read for all teen and adult readers. I loved this! It almost moved me to tears as it provides insight into the mind of an adolescent." - Library Media Connection (starred review)

"Once I got into it, I loved Stupid Fast. Felton is a great character - he's just so likeable! He's awkward in a fun way, and his comments and way of seeing things are hilarious. He's complex and dynamic, and there's just so much to him, lots of which I probably didn't even get reading Stupid Fast for the first time. His voice is honest, original and realistic, and it felt like he was talking to me throughout the entire book. The secondary characters are fully-developed; I could imagine everyone easily - Aleah, Jerri, Andrew, the jocks, all of the characters! I also loved the dynamic and realistic relationships between Felton and all the other characters. Aleah and Felton are adorable together!

Stupid Fast reminded me of a John Green book. I don't mean the story, because that's really different from John Green's books - I just mean the style and the feel of the book. Stupid Fast conveys so many emotions - it's sad and funny and heartwarming and hopeful and honest and raw, all at the same time, just like John Green's books. You're crying one minute, and the next minute you're laughing. That's probably what I enjoyed most about this book - I love when a book can really make you feel something, both good and bad.

This is a great read! Don't be discouraged by the football-topic - I'm not big on sports, but I really enjoyed Stupid Fast. Felton is such a likeable main character, and Stupid Fast is emotional and hilarious at the same time, reminding me of a John Green book. I definitely recommend it!" - Paperback Treasures

"I really liked the elements in this book. A broken home, a main character growing up faster than he ever thought he would. So much goes on in the book that it is hard to not stop reading. A great, young, fresh voice, Felton is the American boy dealing with an average American life. Nothing is perfect but of course he is Stupid Fast." - Books With Bite

"So, without giving anything away, I'll just say: it has a great character voice, Pete Hautmanesque story-telling, and a deft recognition of human complexity." - Daughter Number Three

"Whip-smart and painfully self-aware, "Stupid Fast" is a funny and agonizing glimpse into the teenage brain. . . .In that gap between being big and being grown-up lies a lot of the best young-adult fiction, including Geoff Herbach's painfully funny debut, "Stupid Fast."
"Young readers looking for a genuinely memorable first-person narrator — in the vein of Sherman Alexie's "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" or Pete Hautman's "Godless" — should really catch up to "Stupid Fast" this summer." - The Star Tribune

"This is what I call a "smart guy-book". When you guys are ready to move away from fantasy into realistic fiction about teenage guy issues, Stupid Fast is one of the books you will have to turn to." - Beyond The Middle

""a novel that will give much food for thought." Blogger Dr.L, LS 5385 Blog" - LS 5385 Blog

Kirkus Reviews

A rambling ode to male adolescent angst.

It is the summer before junior year, and oddball outsider Felton Reinstein has hit the puberty jackpot. Suddenly tall, muscular and "stupid fast," he has been invited by the high-school football coach to work out with the team with the understanding that he may win a position come fall. His sudden popularity is marred by his mother's equally abrupt bout of depression and his little brother Andrew's intense anger about it. Felton thinks his mom's bad mood may have something to do with his age and father's suicide 10 years ago, but he is too distracted by his new posse and the cute pianist next door, Aleah, to find out. Soon the situation deteriorates to the point where Mom never leaves the house and Andrew burns all his clothes in the yard in order to get her attention. Now Felton is forced to face the long-buried secret of his father's death if he wants to heal his family. Felton's manic, repetitive voice and naive, trusting personality stand out in a field of dude lit populated with posturing tough guys and cynical know-it-alls. Add strong secondary characterizations and readers may be able to overcome the tangential storyline and rather perfunctory climax.

A little tightening of the plot screws could have led to this uneven novel being stupid good. (Fiction. 12 & up)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Playwright Geoff Herbach's debut young adult novel (Sourcebooks Fire, 2011) is a coming-of-age tale that has too much going on. Shy Felton Reinstein, 15, a previously picked on runt, suddenly finds himself "hungry all the time and growing hair everywhere." As a result of this growth spurt, he has become a sprinter and lands on the football team. This alone could have made this a great sports story, but the author has added too many additional plot elements: the suicide of Felton's father, his mother's downward spiral into depression, his little brother's erratic behavior, his best friend Gus's departure for the summer, and his romantic feelings for the African-American teen who has moved into Gus's house. All this makes for an overly complicated story that jumps from one dramatic plot device to another and doesn't come across well in the audio version. Fred Berman does his best to bring the characters to life, but the constant jabbering and yelling is irritating and hard to follow. There are some laugh-out-loud moments here, especially between Felton and his quirky little brother, but that's not enough to entice listeners.—Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402256301
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
108,466
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1: NOW

This could be a dark tale!

It's not.

I don't think so.

Maybe.

I can't sleep. It's 1:03 a.m. Almost September. The weather is warm, even though it's football season. There's this huge moon in the sky, but I can't see it from the basement, where my bedroom is. I saw it plenty.

Tonight.

Dark tale? My dad did commit suicide.

Not so dark? I'm me. I hop up and down.

Where to start?

Not in the '70s, when Jerri was a little girl. Not ten years ago, when I was five and found Dad dead in the garage. How about last November?

I should really be exhausted. But I'm not.

I, Felton Reinstein, stand on my bed because I can't sleep.

Go.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"In the end Fenton's sarcasm, anxiety, self-doubt, thoughtfulness, and compassion carry the day and perfectly capture the voice of his generation." - School Library Journal

"Reading Felton's thoughts, feelings, fears, and frustrations are sometimes funny as well as touching, revealing his gentle and sensitive side amidst the stupid. This title provides a great read for all teen and adult readers. I loved this! It almost moved me to tears as it provides insight into the mind of an adolescent." - Library Media Connection

"Once I got into it, I loved Stupid Fast. Felton is a great character - he's just so likeable! He's awkward in a fun way, and his comments and way of seeing things are hilarious. He's complex and dynamic, and there's just so much to him, lots of which I probably didn't even get reading Stupid Fast for the first time. His voice is honest, original and realistic, and it felt like he was talking to me throughout the entire book. The secondary characters are fully-developed; I could imagine everyone easily - Aleah, Jerri, Andrew, the jocks, all of the characters! I also loved the dynamic and realistic relationships between Felton and all the other characters. Aleah and Felton are adorable together!

Stupid Fast reminded me of a John Green book. I don't mean the story, because that's really different from John Green's books - I just mean the style and the feel of the book. Stupid Fast conveys so many emotions - it's sad and funny and heartwarming and hopeful and honest and raw, all at the same time, just like John Green's books. You're crying one minute, and the next minute you're laughing. That's probably what I enjoyed most about this book - I love when a book can really make you feel something, both good and bad.

This is a great read! Don't be discouraged by the football-topic - I'm not big on sports, but I really enjoyed Stupid Fast. Felton is such a likeable main character, and Stupid Fast is emotional and hilarious at the same time, reminding me of a John Green book. I definitely recommend it!" - Paperback Treasures

"I really liked the elements in this book. A broken home, a main character growing up faster than he ever thought he would. So much goes on in the book that it is hard to not stop reading. A great, young, fresh voice, Felton is the American boy dealing with an average American life. Nothing is perfect but of course he is Stupid Fast." - Books With Bite

"So, without giving anything away, I'll just say: it has a great character voice, Pete Hautmanesque story-telling, and a deft recognition of human complexity." - Daughter Number Three

"Whip-smart and painfully self-aware, "Stupid Fast" is a funny and agonizing glimpse into the teenage brain. . . .In that gap between being big and being grown-up lies a lot of the best young-adult fiction, including Geoff Herbach's painfully funny debut, "Stupid Fast."
"Young readers looking for a genuinely memorable first-person narrator — in the vein of Sherman Alexie's "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" or Pete Hautman's "Godless" — should really catch up to "Stupid Fast" this summer." - The Star Tribune

"This is what I call a "smart guy-book". When you guys are ready to move away from fantasy into realistic fiction about teenage guy issues, Stupid Fast is one of the books you will have to turn to." - Beyond The Middle

""a novel that will give much food for thought." Blogger Dr.L, LS 5385 Blog" - LS 5385 Blog

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