Thursday, December 17, 2009

Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

Summary: Sarah Byrnes and Eric have been friends for years. When they were children, his fat and her terrible scars made them both outcasts. Later, although swimming slimmed Eric, she stayed his closest friend. Now Sarah Byrnes -- the smartest, toughest person Eric has ever known -- sits silent in a hospital. Eric must uncover the terrible secret she's hiding, before its dark currents pull them both under.

This book was released in 1993, and I wasn’t reading YA at the time. A good friend of mine told me about it, so I picked up a copy from the library.

I loved this book. When I first started reading it, I had no idea when it was published. By the voice alone, I thought it would have been in the past few years, so I was really surprised when I looked up the original copyright date. It’s so fresh, and it captures the mind of a teenager so well, that it feels timeless. For all you writers looking to write this way, this book is an excellent example!

As for the story, the characters are interesting, real, and compelling, and I wish I had known about this book when it first came out. This book does an amazing job of exploring friendship, rivalry, self-image, and abuse.

My favorite part was Eric’s class, Contemporary American Thought. I never would have survived this class in high school, but I sure want to take it now! It is a place to express and defend opinions, offer different points of view, and figure out how to make all these opinions play nice. I loved it. Though, it was a place for the author to come out a bit – some of the messages were a bit obvious, mature, and heavy, and the class was the conduit. But that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book.

If you haven’t read this book, you should. It’s fantastic.

8 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Oh, this sounds like something I need to find.

Keri Mikulski said...

Love timeless books.. Strive for that. :)

Donna Gambale said...

This title is wonderful. I got hooked when you said "timeless" -- so few contemporary books have that!

Kelly said...

Very original, unique title. Sounds like an intriguing story!

Angela said...

This one is def on my MUST READ list!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love hearing about older titles. Thanks for posting about this one.

Mary Witzl said...

Once again, you have added to my reading list. Which is now two miles long...

Happy 2010, Tabitha!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

It's amazing how you can find almost anything on Twitter! Thanks for the review! :)