May 9, 2012
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
When Sarah Byrnes was three years old, her condition became synonymous with her surname. Her face and hands were badly burned in a mysterious accident, and her father refused to allow reconstructive surgery. She developed a suit of cold, stainless steel armor to defend herself against the taunts of a world insensitive to her pain. You enter into Sarah Byrnes's world on her terms, or you don't enter.
Enter Eric Calhoune--Moby to his friends. Eric passed through his early years on a steady diet of Oreos and Twinkies and root beer floats, and he sports the girth to prove it. Because of their "terminal uglies," he and Sarah Byrnes have become true masters in the art of underhanded revenge directed at anyone who dares to offend their sensibilities.
When Eric turns out for the high school swimming team, he begins to shed layers of extra poundage. Fearing the loss of the one friendship he treasures, he gorges to "stay fat for Sarah Byrnes," who discovers his motive and threatens to beat him more senseless than she thinks he already is. Then the truth of Sarah Byrnes's horrific past finally catches up with her.
I guess I don't really care for the way that Crutcher writes. This is the second book I've read by him, and neither of the books I've read by him have really spoken to me. I just don't really like them at all. They're alright, but they always seem to just drag for me, and I really dislike that in a book. I want some action! You know what I mean?
I'd say that Eric himself was a good character, but he had some flaws. For one, he was forever trying to get Mark's beef, and generally driving everyone in the vicinity insane. Not that Mark wasn't a total ass, but he made up for it, just a little, in the end. Now Eric though, he drove me insane the entire time. I could not get him to shut up. Really. It was that bad. His character's voice is literally in my head now. He won't shut up. But I guess some people look for that in a character. Not me. Never.
I really would have liked to have read some of the story through Dale Thorton's point of view, because it seemed like he could have been an amazing character. He was just so.....interesting. And that's what I look for in a character. One's that'll keep me interested. He did. I wish that this book had been as fast in the beginning as it was in the end, because I think that would've improved the book somewhat. Not that we'd ever get over Eric's voice in my head! But it might have helped a bit. Also, for being called 'Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes', Sarah Byrnes was not in the book near as much as I thought she would be. All in all, I'd say I was entertained, but not really fulfilled.