Synopses & Reviews
Frankie Towers has always looked up to his older brother, Steve. And with good reason-Steve is a popular senior gets whatever he wants: girls, a soccer scholarship, and-lately-street cred. Frankie, on the other hand, spends his time shooting off fireworks with his best friend, Zach, working at his parents' restaurant, and obsessing about his longtime crush, Rebecca Sanchez.
Although Frankie has some reservations, he doesn't spend much time thinking about about Steve's crusade to win the respect of the local cholos. Then Frankie gets into a fistfight with John Dalton-longtime nemesis of Steve's, and the richest, preppiest kid in their New Mexican high school. After the fight, Steve takes Frankie under his wing, and Frankie's social currency begins to rise. The cholos who used to ignore him start to recognize him; he even lands a date to Homecoming with Rebecca.
But after another incident with Dalton, Steve is bent on retaliating. Frankie starts to think that his brother is taking this respect thing too far. Soon he'll have to make a choice between respecting his brother and respecting himself.
In an honest and humorous debut novel, Coert Voorhees examines what it means for a young man to come of age. A compelling look at where loyalty ends and the self begins.
"Set in a small New Mexico town along the Rio Grande River, Voorhees's debut novel puts a fresh and often funny spin on a familiar plot line, the awkward teen boy who desires the hot girl. Rebecca Sanchez, says Frankie Torres, is biracial, 'a coyote like me, but unlike me, she got the best of both worlds.... Eyes such a deep shade of blue that sometimes you want to lean in close so you can see the bottom. Cheesy as hell? Definitely. But I'm telling you.' If only Frankie can find the right words to ask her to the homecoming dance! But not all is light: Frankie worries about his bad-ass older brother Steve's taste for macho violence, especially after Frankie gets beaten up by rich white boy John Dalton how far will Steve go to get revenge? Strong secondary characters round out this sexually charged story, which is peppered with Spanish words and phrases. Frankie's observations on life, friendships and family loyalties wittily punctuate the narrative, ensuring that readers will listen closely to this unlikely hero. Ages 14 up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This is a book every bar-mitzvah boy will want to steal . . . Everyone should read it the moment he becomes a man."
—Kirkus, starred review
"Rubens creates a funny, frank portrayal of adolescent humiliation and the trouble with older brothers."
"Rubens neatly gets inside Isaac's head, and although there's something to offend almost everyone here, there's also plenty to think—and laugh—about as well."
"Rubens captures the nerdy geekiness of middle-school-aged boys in short and snappy, cleverly formatted chapters rich with sarcasm, humor, and pathos."
—School Library Journal
Isaac is preparing for his bar mitzvah when his older brother Josh, a self-proclaimed "Super Jew" and undefeated wrestler, forces him into a quest to become a man: shooting a gun, riding a motorcycle, playing pool, and falling in love...and that's just the beginning.
Isaac's parents have abandoned him for a trip to Italy in the final days before his bar mitzvah. And even worse, his hotheaded older brother, Josh, has been left in charge. An undefeated wrestler, MMA fighter, and bar brawler, Josh claims to be a "Son of the 613"—a man obedient to the six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Tanakh—and he has the tattoo to prove it. When Josh declares that there is more to becoming a man than memorization, the mad "quest" begins for Isaac. From jumping off cliffs and riding motorcycles, to standing-up to school bullies and surviving the potentially fatal Final Challenge, Josh puts Isaac through a punishing gauntlet that only an older brother could dream up. But when Isaac begins to fall for Josh's girlfriend, Leslie, the challenges escalate from bad to worse in this uproarious coming-of-age comedy.
About the Author
MICHAEL RUBENS was a producer for several years for the award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writing and directing field pieces with Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Samantha Bee, Ed Helms and other Daily Show correspondents. In addition to his work with the Daily Show, Michael has also been a host, writer, and producer of several programs on the Travel Channel, including Eclipse Chasers: Ghana and Drew Careys Sporting Adventures: World Cup. Michael has also written and produced for CNN, Oxygen and other networks. He has appeared as a guest commentator on VH1s infamous celebrity-bashing programs. His first novel, The Sheriff of Yrnameer, was published last year. This is his first book for young adults. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.