Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan: Book review

Book title/Author: Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan
Publisher/Year: March 3rd 2015 Albert Whitman & Company
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No
Pages: 210
Source/Format: eARC | NetGalley
(Thanks NetGalley/Albert Whitman & Company!)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange 
for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

*This review may contain spoilers!*


Henry "Biggie" Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa's most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn't understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. "Forty percent, that's an F in any class," he would say. As Biggie's junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad's footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?

My review

I found it very hard to enjoy this book, because I hated the main character so much. Henry or "Biggie" as everyone calls him, has had quite a hard life, but I don't think that excuses him from being rude and assuming things. At first I felt bad for him, for being teased and given a bad nickname and his step-dad not caring, but when it got to the point where he started saying he kept on putting weight so no one would notice him, I got a bit annoyed. It's one thing to have an eating problem, but it's another thing entirely to make your health worse just because you think people will notice you less. Let me tell you something: it doesn't. However saying this I do understand that this makes Biggie a more realistic character and I appreciate the fact that Sullivan didn't try and make him out to be anything but what he is.

Sometimes Biggie took it too far, and I cannot respect the fact that he hacked into his crushes email account and read her personal and private emails that she sent. Also when he showed up at her door after months of ignoring her and then got mad that she was going on a date and made her hang out with him afterwards. His whole motivation towards losing weight was the idea of having sex, but why would anyone give that to him when he is a rude hypocritical jerk that judges everyone but himself, expects the girls to love him and the boys to want to be him, and quits whenever he doesn't get what he wants.

This book wasn't badly written by any means, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish it, but that doesn't take away from the awful protagonist that I just couldn't respect.

On the other hand, if you are a fan of baseball, or maybe even books where the underdog shines, you might like this one more than me.



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