Really No Big Deal [ePub]

by Margaret Bechard

The official first selection of the Eric T. Voigt's Actual Legit Book Club. The only reason I know this book exists: I was trolling around on Google image search, as I'm constantly doing, and the cover popped up when I entered "really big deal." And the only reason I followed through with reading and actually legitimizing the club is that the Facebook buzz put a lot of pressure on me, plus (shouts out to) Glenda said here on Goodreads that she was totally joining the club, and followed through, posting a small review about a week ago. SO. The book club was born. How was the first entry?

It was really no big deal. BAZING. It was cute. It was a really quick read. It's a "junior fiction" book, so it's basically for middle schoolers about middle schoolers. A lot of the time the leading man Jonah is concerned with not looking like an awkward spaz and making the right moves around girls he might have a shot with. I related. Deeply. The dialogue is pretty sharp most of the time, and the action flows really well. There's a lot of preoccupation with very slight physical changes to a scene, tons of spacial awareness going on. The book highlights how complex people are from the age of seven to the grave. Like, maybe this is intended to sooth the worries of pre-teens feeling all alone with the glut of new strange thoughts racing through their minds. EVERYONE'S got problems is sort of the end note. Communication helps us all. Use it. That's my takeaway.

Here's my favorite part. It's when this baby is unsupervised for a few moments and ends up destroying a magnificently crafted dessert: "Cooper looked back at us over his shoulder. His mouth puckered up. He started to cry. And then, very slowly, he toppled over, right smack on top of the cake."

The only issue I had is how often Jonah talks about his cluelessness. It ebbs off as more characters are introduced, but for a while there it seemed like every bit of internal dialogue was him going "what did that person say?" or "oh shoot, I'm so dumb." But it was good, I don't know why I'm bringing this up. My bad.

Discussion questions!:

1. If you were Jonah, do you think you'd have been at a loss for words as often as he was? Like, given the circumstances?

2. Which Birthday party was your favorite? Mine was the water gun fight + capture the flag party.

3. Does it seem like Amanda's gonna end up with Jonah somewhere down the line? Probably, right?

ALRIGHT. Time to bring up what's NEXT for the club. It's Cormac McCarthy's 1979 novel 'Suttree.' Wikipedia tells me it's semi-autobiographical and way funnier than anything else he's written. When I think of McCarthy books I definitely don't think about laughing, except in an uncomfortable way because someone's making an ironic point or I'm nervous a character I like is about to get some doom dolled out to them. Maybe there are real jokes! Please come find out with me. Have it read by October 20th. We're just gonna read a book between each 20th of the month, it's that simple.

05.09.2010

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