By Flynn Meaney
Available now from Poppy (Hachette)
I've had this review in draft for several days now because I just can't decide what to say. This is the worst sort of review to write: the meh review. I had fun reading THE BOY RECESSION, but I just don't have anything to say.
Hunter Fahrenbach and Kelly Robbins are both seniors and band members at Julius P. Heil High. But when they come back to school from the summer, they find out that there have been a number of changes due to budget cuts. There is no band. And, more importantly in the minds of their classmates, most athletic funding has been cut. All of the true athlete hopefuls decide to go to private schools, leaving Heil High bereft of its most popular boys.
I did enjoy Hunter's character arc. He's happily slacked off for years, but he's realized that he needs to do something if he wants to go anywhere after graduation. His big idea: start a music tutoring program for elementary school students. And responsible Kelly is the perfect person to help him. I've read a lot of stories about people trying to clean up their act, and they usually start with crazy schemes. Hunter's idea is a little bit crazy, but it benefits others in a very real way. He doesn't need to make a complete lifestyle change, just learn how to be more motivated.
As they spend more time together, Kelly realizes Hunter is a pretty good songwriter and possibly good boyfriend material. But as soon as he performs in the school talent show at Kelly's behest, all of the girls can see for themselves that he's talented. Pretty soon he's got a girlfriend and a role in the school musical with little time left for Kelly or the tutoring program.
I'm sure you can guess how everything turns out. THE BOY RECESSION is not a novel full of surprises. It's cute, but there's nothing to distinguish it from the million shy-girls-in-love-with-in-demand-boys books out there. Flynn Meaney's first book, BLOODTHIRSTY, sounds fun and I might pick it up and read it sometime. There's nothing wrong with her writing. I just have no passion for THE BOY RECESSION.