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Monday, October 10, 2011

Review - Stick by Andrew Smith

Stick by Andrew Smith
Fourteen-year-old Stark McClellan (nicknamed Stick because he’s tall and thin) is bullied for being “deformed” – he was born with only one ear. His older brother Bosten is always there to defend Stick. But the boys can’t defend one another from their abusive parents.

When Stick realizes Bosten is gay, he knows that to survive his father's anger, Bosten must leave home. Stick has to find his brother, or he will never feel whole again. In his search, he will encounter good people, bad people, and people who are simply indifferent to kids from the wrong side of the tracks. But he never loses hope of finding love – and his brother.

Here's a look at the phenomenal trailer for STICK:

My Thoughts:
Rating = 5 Stars

Wow. Guys. I think we all pretty much know my thoughts about Andrew Smith, right? Kinda on the verge of stalker-ish-ness-ism. (or whatever) Nah. Actually the truth is, Andrew Smith is the very first writer that I've EVER connected with. Yeah, on that level. (I'm not talking to you if you have no idea what I even mean here.) I have read and collected all of Andrew's books and anxiously await the next in line. Andrew's newest release, STICK, (October 11, 2011 Feiwel and Friends) was absolutely no exception. I was willing to hitch a ride all the way to New York, go to Macmillan and beg for a copy if need be. Word must have got around about that and I'm sure those fancy high-rise pubs do not like bloggers just popping in unannounced so they sent me an advance copy. Let's just say the day I received STICK seemed like a dream. I read uninterruptedly until I finished and then with in a couple days I read the entire novel again. Yes. It. Is. That. Good.

When I read STICK I didn't know what to expect. I had hints. I knew it was going to be a difficult book to digest. Then again, if it wasn't, it wouldn't have been written by Andrew Smith. So many issues are covered within this novel. What's so-called normal and what's not, is one of the biggest for Stick. He is faced with the definition of "normal" the entire novel. Are all of these things in his life "normal" just because they have been present in his life?

There is so much happening in Stick's life in such a short time. There's a girl. Emily. She is Stick's best friend. They do everything together. And, there's his brother, Bosten. They used to do everything together but he's gotten older and has strayed off some. In Stick's life there couldn't be two more important people than Bosten and Emily. They mean the world to him.

This story is about two brothers and their love for each other. The struggles they go through, the mistakes they make. Learning how to let go and stand up for yourself. Doing the right things. Doing the wrong things. Loving yourself and loving someone else. And a very long journey to find a way back home.

Andrew makes you love the characters in his books, you feel what they do, you actually understand what they are going through. There were plenty of times that I had tears, times that I was shouting and a couple times I would do a fist pump in the air and say "hell-yeah". I was in it with both boys from the beginning and I was on their side. I felt their pain and joy. I also cried their tears. There were times I would close my eyes and vision an ocean in California just like where Stick learned to surf. I would even imagine the taste of Sex Wax and how wonderful the smell would be. I still listen to the playlist when I get lonely and want to visit the characters.

Andrew has a writing style that is so very unique even though everyone of his books are different from one another. I think what links them all together is the realness of them. For me, it's the wondering "what part of this is real and what part is fiction". I've told several folks that you could give me 10 books with no labels and I would be able to pick out an Andrew Smith book every time. Just by his writing style. No one could duplicate him. It takes a lot of heart and courage to put parts of your own life into words and make that into a story. I admire anyone that can do that. It seems as though Andrew just keeps rocking them out.

Finally. Stick is released tomorrow! I'm going to be giving away a couple copies here, so make sure you check back.. but I'll leave you the links to order the book also.

These are links you can find Andrew Smith:
Ghost Medicine - Andrew's blog
Andrew's website
Andrew's FB page
Andrew's Twitter page

Order Stick - Amazon
Order Stick - Barnes & Noble


  1. Fantastic review! I absolutely loved Stick as well, and I really like how you brought up how Stick was questioning in his life what "normal" is. He had never really known anything other than his family and his little town. I agree, Andrew's writing style is so distinct, and I definitely think that even though his novels are very different his writing truly brings them together. I definitely CAN'T WAIT for the sequel of The Marbury Lens to come out!!!

  2. Great review, friend! We have a lot in common and one of them is our fondness for Andrew and his genius.


  3. Fabulous review. I can't wait until my copy arrives. Thanks for the psych job.

  4. Thanks for the awesome comments guys!

  5. I saw the post yesterday but couldn't comment. Andrew Smith has a way of writing and touching difficoult topics that is absolutely unique. I didn't know him until I read The marbury lens and I was absolutely captured by his writing style, so I'm sure STICK would be wonderful. I love a difficult book, a book that can make me wonder and question things.

    Thanks for the awesome review, definitely ordering the book!


  6. I just got this one and can't wait to read it. It sounds incredible! Wonderful review!!

  7. @The Happy Booker - Thanks and I'm so excited you picked up a copy! I can't wait to hear what you think. :)

  8. @Lucia - I think you will find all of Andrew's books are unique in different ways. I love every one of them. I hope you do too!