Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.comTroy knows that everyone is watching him And laughing at him Of course they are At seventeen years old and almost 300 pounds, wearing what appears to be the same pair of tan pants daily, every move he makes is laughable Will he be able to get out of the car How many burgers will he eat Even his effort to breathe is laughable as he huffs and puffs his way along He worries that he smells You don t understand It s not that he s a pig or anything, he just has a hard time fitting in the shower.Poised over the subway tracks, Troy contemplates whether he can find a form of suicide that will be so serious, so severe, that no one will laugh Enter Curt Semi homeless teen, school dropout, legend at his high school, and uber amazing guitar player, Curt attaches himself to Troy after saving him from the tracks He s an itch that can t be scratched, a tick burrowing under the skin Before Troy realizes it, he s agreed to buy Curt dinner and join his band as a drummer, even though he hasn t played since seventh grade.Who is he kidding He can t do this He sees it in the eyes of his perfect kid brother, Dayle, as well as his military dad, the disappointed dysfunctional parent But with Curt s help, Troy learns to look past himself He finds support in unexpected places But it s not until Curt is hospitalized that Troy finally has the guts to really take a risk.This is a fast paced book K L Going immerses the reader in the world of punk rock through the eyes of the fat kid who yearns to have people really look at him She has a great sense of humor that shines with lines of comparison, like when Troy compares himself to Dayle before the big gig Troy thinks Dayle looks like he s ready to win the Super Bowl, while I m ready to heave into one Ms Going does an amazing job of getting into the psyche of the fat kid There is a fair amount of rough language, but even so, this book rocks I thought originally that this was going to be a good book I heard so many people say that they thought it made a great read and recommended it to meWhat inspired me to read about this overweight boy is that that I had seen a special Biggest Loser episode In this episode featured a young man entering his 20 s He was funny, charming, and smart but ultimately saddened because of his loneliness His appearance seemed to be the major contributor to his low self esteem I felt so much compassion for this young man I had the sudden desire to be put in his shoes, see the world through his eyes, in other words, experiencing his pain. Obviously this book did not get me very far I was faced with vulgarity and dirty thoughts Although I could somewhat understand the life of this character, I found myself disgusted with the way he represented himself He accepted almost any kind of treament just to be acknowledge and went right along with the bad examples of his peers, treating women with less respect than they deserve and so on Librarian S Note An Alternate Cover Edition Can Be Found HereTroy Billings Is Seventeen,Pounds, Friendless, Utterly Miserable, And About To Step Off A New York Subway Platform In Front Of An Oncoming Train Until He Meets Curt MacCrae, An Emaciated, Semi Homeless, High School Dropout Guitar Genius, The Stuff Of Which Lower East Side Punk Rock Legends Are Made Never Mind That Troy S Dad Thinks Curt S A Drug Addict And Troy S Brother Thinks Troy S The Biggest Literally Loser In Manhattan Soon, Curt Has Recruited Troy As His New Drummer, Even Though Troy Can T Play The Drums Together, Curt And Troy Will Change The World Of Punk, And Troy S Own Life, Forever I loved this book Fat Kid Rules the World Six foot one, 296 pound Troy is just looking for something that we re all searching for acceptance When he meets Curt, a mostly homeless punk prodigy who decides that Troy is going to be his drummer even though Troy hasn t played since the seventh grade , Troy needs to weigh his own feelings of fear and inadequacy against his desire to stop giving a fuck and just go for it.When he goes to his first punk rock show and completely loses himself in the music, he begins his journey to freeing himself from all the baggage that normally holds him back And at the same time, he finds out that Curt needs help, too Just like we all do There s a beautiful moment in this story when Troy realizes that he s been waiting for people to give him things support, love, acceptance and instead of waiting, he decides to start giving those things away.I m making this story sound really sappy, butthan that it s funny, edgy and unflinching Troy s outlook on his weight and life will have you alternately cringing and cheering for him, especially when he puts himself out there If you like YA lit, read it read it read it I really like this story There were problems, obviously, hence the three stars I liked probably the first half to three quarters of the novel, except I feel like the narrator said fat way too many times His weight is probably his biggest insecurity, but I m pretty sure fat showed up at least once on every page My biggest issue really was probably the ending The resolutions felt really abrupt and rushed This is such a short book, just over 200 pages, I honestly feel like another 50 100 pages would have really helped to flesh out some of the major plot points and wrap up the problems better But I still enjoyed it. Wonderful story about a little Kurt Cobain like boy whose fat friend Troy tries to save him from himself This is probably the most fat positive fiction I ve ever read for teens, as the story talks about society s reactions to Troy s weight but does not conclude with and he gets skinny and popular Instead, he helps a friend, sees the value of his family and finds a new community in punk rock. Banned Book Week Time to read a second banned book This one was challenged for its language, sexual content and depiction of drug use.While it is a pretty decent young adult novel, Fat Kid smacks a bit of simplistic After School Special storytelling Troy is an overweight teen with all sorts of anxieties A homeless but legendary dropout named Curt from Troy s high school pulls Troy back from suicidal thoughts by befriending him and inviting him to form a punk rock band But in the end will Troy need to help save Curt from his drug abuse Hmmm.The strength of the book lies in its characters It was very easy for me to identify with the 296 pounds, 6 1 protagonist as I have shared those exact numbers many times in my life, starting in junior high or slightly earlier up to the present day As an adult who has a child with anxieties, I also found it easy to identify with Troy s father And Curt, well he is charming as hell as long as you overlook his hygiene and drug problems.As for being banned, I think there is muchhere to benefit a young reader than there is to harm them. When Troy a hugely overweight social leper befriends Curt a skinny homeless punk guitar genius , they both get muchthan they bargained for Troy s macho brother and ex Marine father think Curt is just a junkie loser but as Curt stopped Troy s suicide attempt, Troy can t just forget him Curt recruits Troy as the new drummer in his punk band but Troy has never played the drums in his life When Curt s around, though, almost anything seems possible An outstanding, heart warming, funny, edgy, debut novel. FromUKThis book is absolutely amazing I can t tell you how much I enjoyed this book This book is so good, I just feel so light right now, high It s just awesome The book starts off with Troy actually at the tube station, considering jumping in front of a train But then Curt, who is sleeping rough on the platform, opens his mouth From Troy s point of view, everything he does is funny to other people He only has to sit down in the cafeteria and people laugh While standing at the end of the platform, he tries to work out if his suicide would be funny He imagines how he think it would be, and laughs And then this homless guy says You laughing at me Four words If Curt, the character, didn t utter those words, Troy would have probably jumped There would have been no story We wouldn t have seen how Troy s complete and utter lack of self confidence and self worth could have been turned around.In the comments of Luisa Plaja s guest post, I commented on how I on t like how in some stories, girls opinion of themselves changes because of a guy s interest In a way, I still feel like that, but this book has changed that Forget the girl is female and the guy is male, and they re attracted to each other Someone is helping out someone else In Angela Morrison s interview, she mentions how sometimes all people need is a good friend to gently help In this book, that is exactly the situation Curt helps Troy Not by telling him he looks fine, or by changing the way he looks But by asking him to join his band as a drummer Now this is not just some random homeless person inviting him to join his band, it s Curt, Curt MacCrae, only the legendary guitarist who went to his school, who inspires awe in everyone who looks at him And he has just asked Troy to just his band What ensues is a brilliant, brilliant story of Troy s change in attitude He sees himself differently Because of the belief and encouragement of people he has the utmost respect for, the way he sees himself changes his weight, the way he looks he realises, in the great scheme of things, it doesn t matter.I have to say, I have the biggest lit crush on Curt, even if he is a smelly homeless person His life is complicated, and not something I can go into without spoiling the story He talks in this strange way that is just so awesome and amusing, I grin whenever he speaks it s complete nonsense most of the time, but it s brilliant And he s deep, in this way I can t even explain, because I only barely just got what he meant myself, but it s amazing And on top of that, he can play guitar and I know it s a book, and so I can t technically hear him play he s absolutely unbelievably good And, well, I ve always kind of had a thing for a guy who can play guitar it s a failing I have, I m trying to get over it I just love this guy Simply because you need to see how amazing it is when Curt speaks, here s a quote You see, technically, and this is only in the technical sense, legal court orders and all, so, yes, technically I live with my father, but that s hard to do, really, so I don t You know, mostly cause he kicked me out a couple times And left But that doesn t mean it s out of the realm of possibility that I could be living with my father p16 I just love it And you know what also helps It s a book that has a lot to do with music I m a music fan, I m a live music fan, I m a huge fan of gigs at venues with new bands and this book was full of it all It s just brilliant You can feel the vibrations, you can smell the sweat, you can feel the buzz It s just amazing If you read my review of King of the Screwups, also by K.L Going, you ll know that although I absolutely loved it, I had a bit of trouble getting motivated to pick it up once I put it down I did not have this trouble in the slightest with this book I always wanted to read it I was hooked from the first words, and further hooked from the moment Curt speaks, and just dying to see what happened with the two of them and the band Absolutely awesome I cannot recommend this book enough It s six years old now, but one you should all definitely try to get your hands on It s awesome, and it s going to stick with me for a while, just how deeply the two guys effect each other It s now up there with my favourites, and I am just so glad I chose to read this book I will definitely be checking outof the novels by K.L Going From Once Upon a Bookcase YA book blog I absolutely loathed this book It has a completely unrealistic view of fat kids based solely off of stereotypes The kid is only 300 lbs but can barely walk without feeling like dying And he s described as being pretty tall, so all in all, he wouldn t be that big, fat wise Being a big person myself, I found this distasteful and think that K.L Going should have done a littlefield research before making the easily lovable main character one big fat joke Update 9 2016 I keep getting hits on this review, and comments like I have no idea what a fat person is I was offended because I am an obese and tall person and felt this book did not portray what I have experienced in my own life accurately Of course, this is based on personal opinion and experience but that s what a review is You can disagree. i saw this on someone else s goodreads and have been meaning to read it for a while it s a young adult book so it took basically one day to read i have mixed feelings i always love books about teenagers coming into punk rock, it s such a liberation story, and one that i relate to finally having a space to be yourself and not give a fuck and be part of something by embracing your outcast qualities fuck yeah i like that this book does not end with the fat kid losing weight, or even thinking about it, but instead becoming a punk rock drummer the character of curt, the homeless guitar god, was almost realistic but ultimately kind of a fairy tale the drug intervention felt convenient and moralistic the hardest thing about this book was the constant fat bashing that goes on in the main character s head, complete with these weird gimmicky headlines, like FAT KID EATS THE BIG ONE, FAT KID GETS PUMMELED BY MOB, FAT KID DIVES OFF THE FIRE ESCAPE, etc so the thing is, it s realistic that fat would be the top thing on this kid s mind, and it s a hard line to walk to show how that plays out psychologically, without reducing every aspect of a person to that one thing the author of this book is not fat, i checked out the picture in the back of the book, so it s all speculation and projection although i guess she could have been fat as a teenager i swear she describes every single part of his body as fat at one time or another, i m surprised she didn t talk about fat eyeballs, fat teeth, fat fingernails Also this kid is 17, 300 pounds and six foot one which, honestly, is a very big person, but is also not really as fat as she s trying to say he is i don t know it s hard to read and not internalize some of the fat hatred but it s also kind of cool to witness someone at the depths of self hatred start to have a life it s like a different version of the way my story could have played out.this was a kid who had totally given up on life, didn t ahve any friends, any interests, hobbies, hopes and dreams, nothing so this is really different from my experience as a teenager, which included the fat hatred and also included lots of times where i convinced myself that i wasn t that fat, or went on diets, or compared my body to other people, or decided it didn t matter, and eventually became a fat activist none of this really happens in this book but he does get some perspective on himself and inspiration from his magic fairy friend curt who insists he be in a band with him i don t know i feel like there s some point i want to come to but i m not sure what it is it s a book for teenagers, and i think teenagers would like it it s corny but also kind of great i enjoyed it and was annoyed by it the whole time that s all.