This is a very unique book.
It features a 12 year old protagonist, but Huge is not for kids.
“Huge” (he really wishes everyone would stop calling him Genie) is going to enter 7th grade and the world of Junior High in the fall, but he’s entering with two big strikes against him.
First, he has a really bad temper. A destroy-the-classroom, terrify-the-students, can’t-be-left-home-alone temper. This temper has led him to have one heck of a reputation.
Second, he’s smart. The kind of book smart that leads kids and teachers to resent him, but doesn’t let him figure out what to do about it.
The latter is enough to endear the character to me. The fact that he goes to visit his grandmother in the nursing home didn’t hurt either. His grandmother has encouraged a love of detective fiction in him, and now she wants to hire him to track down who vandalized the retirement home sign.
The book is primarily a coming of age novel, with some preteen adventure thrown in. It’s funny at times, touching at others.
Now, there’s one thing I have to mention, because it bothered me. Remember when I said this book wasn’t for kids? Everything I’ve said so far could make a great book, readable by tweens/early teens as well as adults.
Unfortunately, this book dwells way too much on the sex life of a not yet teenager: his experience with his exhibitionist sister (who’s portrayed as the normal one in the family) and his experience with a girl his age who’s been taken advantage of by an older boy, and wants to demonstrate what she’s learned.
It’s part of his story, which is an unusual one. I just didn’t (personally) find it necessary, and it distracted me from I book that I otherwise really enjoyed.
I received this book for review from Regal Literary Inc., and I appreciate the opportunity.