Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes review

December 5, 2008
What would you do if your one and only friend was in the hospital? Your answer is probably: I don't know. Why does it matter? It's not like that would ever happen.
In Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, that's exactly what Eric's dilemma is. It seems like the whole “real world” is finally catching up to him, and now he has to face it-alone. This book is told from the point of view of teenager Eric Calhoune as he struggles to face a world of problems without the help of his best friend. This book is written both in real time and in flashbacks. The flashbacks tell the history of Eric and Sarah Byrnes's unlikely friendship. Though they are both social outcasts, Sarah Byrnes and Eric are close to polar opposites. Eric is shy, swims, and might be good looking, but he's overweight. Sarah Byrnes is small, outgoing, hates sports, and has burn marks on her face. The rest of the story tells what happens when Sarah Byrnes goes to the hospital. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that something other than an illness is “plaguing” Sarah Byrnes. The question is, can Eric find out what's wrong…before it's too late?

I liked this book, and I recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind bad language and is looking for a story of mystery, romance, adventure, and the power of friendship. Chris Crutcher's book tells of a modern community where everything is not what it seems, a many-layered society with dark secrets lurking around every corner. Secrets that some characters would do anything to make sure they stayed secrets.

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