Finn Easton may look like his best friend Cade Hernandez, but Cade acts with a fearless abandon Finn can only admire. They play together on the Burnt Mill Creek HS baseball team, and Cade works to bring out the best and worst in Finn. Since a bizarre horse accident in his childhood crushed Finn, killed his mother, and left him epileptic, he tends to approach the world with caution. After his father wrote a best-selling science fiction book featuring a character sharing Finn’s name and appearance, he fears himself trapped in the world of this father’s book. When the beautiful Julia Bishop mysteriously arrives near the end of their junior year, Finn believes he may have discovered his first love. As the summer progresses Finn, Julia, and Cade share adventures and hijinks as they grow closer and strive to author the story of their own futures.
Once again, Smith artfully captures the sacred and profane world of adolescent boys and first love. While I found myself more attached to Winger’s Ryan Dean West, this book is another laugh-out loud hit from Andrew Smith. Disgusting at times with its juvenile “jock” humor, the book also had touching moments of tenderness and suspense. Some readers will be put off by the locker room language, but others will enjoy this story of “bro-mance,” romance, and adolescents finding their way into the adult world. Students looking for “guy books” would do well to read this and other titles by Andrew Smith.