Boy-oh-boy I’ve been having fun with SWIM THE FLY by Don Calame.
From Calame’s website:
Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year’s? To see a real live naked girl for the first time—quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask for a date. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt’s other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team. Complicating matters? Kelly’s beefy butterfly-champ ex-boyfriend, Tony “The Gorilla” Grillo; a merciless life-saving instructor named Ulf; and a blackmail threat involving one very potent laxative. In the spirit of Hollywood’s blockbuster comedies, screenwriter-turned-YA novelist Don Calame unleashes a true ode to the adolescent male: characters who are side-splittingly funny, sometimes crude, yet always full of heart.
Naughty humor abounds in this hilarious YA novel for guys. For real guys. Teenage guys. For guys with friends. And with a sense of humor. The story is simple and somewhat predictable, but the believable characters and spot-on dialogue come together to become something completely fresh and new. While reading, I kept laughing out loud in several places. Yes, I guess it’s a bit crude and rude, but being the mother of boys and a former middle school teacher I have a pretty high tolerance for gross. Especially when it’s balanced with guy-type tenderness. And a fantastic set of supporting characters… Grandpa has his own ridiculous-yet sweet- story going on at the same time.
Highly recommended for the intended audience – teen boys trying to make their way in the world.
Sarah Wones Tomp
WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK