By Geoff Herbach
Available now from Sourcebooks Fire
Geoff Herbach follows his excellent debut STUPID FAST with another tale about Felton Reinstein and his family. Felton went to being unnoticed (except by bullies) to being a track and football hero. His younger brother, Andrew, remains uncelebrated. Then Andrew runs away to Florida and Felton follows.
NOTHING SPECIAL is told as a long, journal-like letter to Felton's girlfriend Aleah, who isn't talking to him. He's recounting his current journey to Florida as well as the one he took earlier in the year. Felton, charmingly, doesn't censor his weaknesses and low points. He ain't perfect, but he's honest about being selfish and thoughtless sometimes. What's really sweet is he seems to think he's the only person in his life who can be accused of narcissism. Felton's voice, as in STUPID FAST, is direct, funny, and the perfect blend of self-aware and completely clueless.
Fans of the first book will be happy to spend more time in Felton's head, but NOTHING SPECIAL is welcoming to new readers. There might be some questions about Felton's father or other minor bits of continuity, but there is no complex mythology to follow. It's a book about siblings - and other relations - and most everyone can relate to that with or without the backstory.
I honestly don't have much more to say than that. Herbach is a great new talent and I can't wait to read his next book whether it involves Felton or not. (But I definitely won't say no to reading about Felton's adventures in college.) NOTHING SPECIAL will appeal to contemporary lovers, particularly those looking for a book that isn't about romance.