This is one of those books that I picked up just because the cover looked so cool. I had absolutely no idea what the book was about, and the back of the book didn’t tell me much either. Didn’t matter! Laurie Halse Anderson is a great author, and the cover caught my eye… Nothing was going to stand between me and this book!
Needless to say, I was very happy that I went with my gut on this one! The basic gist of the book is that this kid Tyler Miller goes from total geek to completely hot rebel when he gets caught spray painting graffiti on school property. How does that happen? Well, he lost the geek/dork label because he had the nerve to spray paint some insults about the principal’s genitalia. And he ends up getting “hot” because of all the manual labor involved with his community service (working with the janitorial staff at his high school) and the job he gets (doing landscaping work) in order to pay for the damage he caused.
Adding to the tension of a normal teenage existence, nevertheless, Tyler has (1) a little sister, Hannah, who is now in high school and dating his best friend, Yoda, (2) an unexpected reciprocation of feelings from his long-time crush, Bethany Milbury, (3) whose twin brother, Chip, is Tyler’s worst enemy and (4) whose father is his father’s boss. It’s not bad enough that Tyler has already let his father down by committing “the foul deed,” but now he is daring to try and move on with his life by taking advantage of his new social standing… What is a guy to do?