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Spinning Out (2011)

by David Stahler Jr.(Favorite Author)
4 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0811877809 (ISBN13: 9780811877800)
languge
English
publisher
Chronicle Books
review 1: Straight up friendship books don’t happen often enough. This one was a little darker than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.Frenchy and his buddy Stewart aren’t really musical theater types. They’re usually more interested in getting enhanced before school than paying attention to what the rest of their class is doing, so it seems like just another prank when Stewart convinces his friend that they need to be in the upcoming play. It messes with Frenchy’s overall vibe when they get parts and have this new responsibility to cast mates, parents, and teachers. Stewart, on the other hand, is a little obsessed with the play. Frenchy’s still waiting for the punch line when it soon becomes clear that Stewart has gone bye-bye. Frenchy’s perfectly fine being in the backg... moreround, generally liked, and would rather not get too involved in anything. He’s the sidekick and Stewart is the one planning the pranks. But when Stewart starts acting weird, he’s the first to notice. He’s the only one that sees it’s more than a phase and that Stewart might need some help. When Stewart’s outbursts get more public, everyone expects that Frenchy will handle it. He’s got competitive cast mates, concerned teachers, oblivious parents and a sick friend that he’s now responsible for after years of taking a backseat. It’s a crap position that he’s in and Stewart definitely doesn’t want any ‘help’. Frenchy won’t stand by and make the same mistake he thinks he made last spring when he thought someone else would step in to help his dad. That didn’t end well. It’s hard, but he steps up for Stewart.Unfortunately, it was well past the first 100 pages before I got into it. After that, I still felt like I was plodding along in places. But Frenchy’s friendship gets five stars. He’s worth them.
review 2: Frenchy and his friend Stewart are known for being goof-offs who pull pranks at school, and Frenchy expects his senior year to go by just like all the others so far. But Stewart has a different plan, and since Stewart is usually the one to come up with the ideas, Frenchy gets pulled along in his latest scheme: playing Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the school’s production of Man of La Mancha.At first Frenchy thinks this is just another elaborate prank Stewart has dreamed up, but as the production continues, Stewart seems to get deeper and deeper into his role and further from reality. He rails against the windmills set up outside of town, vowing to take them down. Frenchy begins to see signs that he is slipping away. Like Sancho, Frenchy has always liked playing the sidekick. Now he must decide whether he can step out of his comfort zone to help his best friend.Spinning Out by David Stahler Jr. is a gripping story that looks at teen mental illness from several different angles. Frenchy is the best one to recognize what’s happening with Stewart, because his own father committed suicide after returning from fighting in Iraq. Yet, even he is unsure if what he’s seeing is normal stress or something more. Stewart’s parents want to believe everything is okay. The school counselor doesn’t see the issue unless other problems surface.Frenchy is a down-to-earth character with problems of his own. He’s smart, but he figures if he doesn’t try too hard, it will be easier for him to succeed. And he won’t have to disappoint others if he fails. His dad’s suicide has affected him a lot, but he puts on a happy face so others won’t feel awkward around him. He’s sensitive about his mom and how she’s coping, but he doesn’t say much about it.Like a play, Spinning Out is divided into acts, starting with the exposition, going on to rising action, climax, falling action and dénouement. The organization helps move the story along while giving the reader clues as to what to expect in the next section. Be aware that the main characters spend a lot of time smoking marijuana for some of the book, and there’s lots of foul language. Even so, those actions are not gratuitous; rather they are an important part of the story. I believe Spinning Out is a compelling story that shines a light on some important issues. I recommend it for guys and mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up. less
Reviews (see all)
Nikki
I can't wait to read this book as one of my summer reads !!!!!! Yay :D
archu
I laughed so hard... best book I have read.
diane
This book is good... I loved it!
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