Sunday, November 7, 2010

BEAT THE BAND by Don Calame

In the author blurb for BEAT THE BAND, author Don Calame states, "It was hard saying good-bye to the characters in SWIM THE FLY.  And then I realized I didn't have to.  I just needed to find a way to get them back into trouble again."

This reader is extremely pleased that Calame missed his characters enough to give them another chance in BEAT THE BAND.  I found them even more engaging and entertaining the second time around.

It is sophomore year, and Cooper Redmond has a new goal in life.  He has decided during his second year in high school he needs to find a way to hit all the bases, and he's not referring to athletic feats on the baseball diamond.  Cooper has his sights set on Prudence, the leader of the hottest group of popular girls in the school. 

When Mrs. Turris announces the semester long health project, Cooper sees it as his chance to shine.  He is sure the odds are in his favor and he'll score Prudence or at least one of her minions as a project partner.  When the Fates intervene and give him hated Helen Harriwick as a partner, his whole plan begins to crumble.  And if having a disastrous partner is not bad enough, the subject of their partnership project is contraception.  It's truly the end of the world for Cooper.

Cooper thinks he may have the answer to all his problems when he hears the announcement about the upcoming Battle of the Bands.  He and his buddies Matt and Sean have experimented some with the rock band idea.  Maybe they could dust off their instruments and with a little practice wow everyone with their musical talent enough to get everyone thinking of Cooper as a cool dude and not as some loser stuck with "Hot Dog" Helen.

What follows is a story hilarious and raunchy enough to hook every guy reader and gross out most girls brave enough to crack the cover.  Calame is right on target with the thoughts and antics of 10th grade boys.  His gritty locker room banter combined with offbeat characters like Cooper's dad and his crazy schemes work to create a super sequel to SWIM THE FLY.  This one has me waiting eagerly for what Calame has to offer next.

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