Stupid Fast

Stupid Fast

4.1 31
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…  See more details below

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, Herbach 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

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
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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402256318
Publisher:
Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
433,519
File size:
853 KB
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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Meet the Author

Geoff Herbach is a novelist, but he also loves writing for performance. He co-created PowderKeg Live! and is also the co-founder of The Lit 6 Project, a group dedicated to bringing literary storytelling to broader audiences. He teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Visit geoffherbach.com


Wee Wisconsin boy, Geoff Herbach wanted to play for the Green Bay Packers or join The Three Stooges. His tight hamstrings left him only writing. Now he writes YA novels, including the award-winning Stupid Fast series, and teaches at Minnesota State, Mankato where he blows his students' minds with tales of football and comedy glory, none of which are true. Visit www.geoffherbach.com for more information about the author, his books, and much more.

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Stupid Fast 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got a free copy of this book, because I'm friends with the author's son. I thought it was gonna be just some dumb book, with an author trying to be good, but not succeeding. Boy, was I wrong! It sounded like an actual 15 year old boy was narrarating the story! The beginning's a little jerky, but don't let that fool ya! Stupid fast is stupid good!
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
When I started this book I expected lots of sport stuff. Instead I got a great combination of sports and young man coming into his shoes. Felton deals with a lot of issues in this book, more so than a regular teen. For me, as the reader, I felt like there wasn't much of sports in this book. The reader see Felton shoot up like a weed, trying out for sports, but mostly Felton is learning to deal with home issues and school issues. The main character Felton, he is a great young man. He has taken responsibility in places where he shouldn't have. I liked how he did his best to make do with what he had. The home life of Felton really touched my heart. Felton already having to grow up fast dealt with a lot of stuff. The crappy mom, little annoying brother, bulling at school and a girl he likes. Felton learns more about his father, his past, and even more about his mother. I really liked how the author, Mr. Herbach showed the reader a really flawed character. He did a great job on capturing the voice of Felton and all that he went through. 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whats up Ms.R this book was a fantastic book to read. I would recommend this book to anyone  that is a highschooler and/or plays football. Not a bad book, very well thought out from a teenagers point of view.
kklove More than 1 year ago
loved i mean absolutely enjoyed and thats saying something for a kid who finally sat down and read a book not having to read for school
Anonymous 10 months ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yup
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. Between the witty humor and adrenaline pumps, I could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stupid Fast was a good book even though i thought it was going to be all about sports but i figured out it wasent. I feel bad for Felton he has lots of problems in his life. At home and at school. I feel this happens to lots of teens in real life . Thats why i liked this book because it was a real life topic and these are the books i am interested in. Im glad Felton had a change in his life because i wouldent like people calling me other names i would want to prove them wrong and change. This book was very good . I recommend it to people who like reading high school type story's. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this! I consider myself an avid reader, and try to read books of many genres and literary merit. This is one of a very small handful of books that has actually made me laugh out loud. The simple writing style is very simple to comrehend, but the slightly more complex underlying storyline contrasts that. A must read for high school who know a few Honkies of their own :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amazing book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great life lessons and morals!!!! Just finished nithing special yesterday, and loved Felton from the start!!!!!!! Suoer insperational! Im a gurl and the boys point of view was cool and didnt botjer me cuz me and felton have a lot in common :) great, exciting, adventourous, and an overwell beautiful series read this then nithing special!!!!!!!! These books take your mind off life and show you what lifes really about read nothing special to discover what it is!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a decent book, but I was a little let down in comparison to 'The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg', which I enjoyed a lot more. I think this one was meant to target a younger audience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the reviews I read for this book made it seem interesting and like a book you cant put down until you finish it...they were all wrong. This book is extremely hard to follow. It has almost no flow and i just wanted to get it over with. Too bad it just never seemed to end. If you think you can stand reading it, more power to you. I know I couldnt. Y
Jacqueline Dykes More than 1 year ago
The beginning wasnt good but in the middle i couldnt put the book down. IT WAS THE BEST
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I saw it on the must read bookshelf at the store. Simple as that. Turns out it was worth every penny. Being a teenage girl myself, I am curious about how boys think. It was a really interesting perspective for me and taught me a lot about the thought process of boys, which isn't all that intelligent as portrayed by the title and in my opinion as well. I recomend this book for all teenagers, as it provides a thought provoking story as well as a unique story moral and ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely a book for highschoolers to read, has very mature subject matter, such as dating drama, a very mature form of bullying, pubic changes, and A LOT OF MATURE LANGUAGE!