Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Beat the Band (Swim the Fly #2) by Don Calame

In this hilarious sequel to Swim the Fly, told from Coop’s point of view, it’s the beginning of the school year, and the tenth-grade health class must work in pairs on semester-long projects. Matt and Sean get partnered up (the jerks), but Coop is matched with the infamous “Hot Dog” Helen for a presentation on safe sex. Everybody’s laughing, except for Coop, who’s convinced that the only way to escape this social death sentence is to win “The Battle of the Bands” with their group, Arnold Murphy’s Bologna Dare. There’s just one problem: none of the guys actually plays an instrument. Will Coop regain his “cool” before it’s too late? Or will the forced one-on-one time with Helen teach him a lesson about social status he never saw coming? With ribald humor and a few sweet notes, screenwriter-turned-novelist Don Calame once again hits all the right chords.

My Thoughts:
This followed the exact same formula as Swim the Fly. Which is to say it was hilarious and thoughtful with lots of raunchy guy humor and idiotic stuff going on. The plot also developed in almost exactly the same way as the first book in terms of girls and who likes who, how things things more or less happen. Some things were different, of course, but it was pretty much the same story. But this time it was about Coop instead of Matt. And there were some different girls.

Anyway, it was funny. I laughed. And, honestly, I felt like there was a bit more heart in this book than in Swim the Fly. I think I had more of a connection to Coop than Matt, even though Matt was a more likable guy. Coop's story was just a bit more from the heart where Matt's story felt like it was told from arms-length. Even so, I didn't feel as close to the characters as I should have. I wasn't as invested as I could have been. This was a fast, fun, hilarious fluff read. Read for a good laugh.

Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Heavy
Violence: Mild (?)
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild

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