Summary: “FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE is the story of a boy who doesn’t fit–in his pants, in his family, in his school, or in his life. If Andrew Zansky can only be thin enough, smart enough, or popular enough, he thinks everything in his life will be perfect. His father will come back home. The pretty girl in school will fall in love with him. His Mom will be happy again.
While he’s working to achieve this fantasy future, Andrew eats. A lot. He buries his problems in his Mom’s mini-snacks, analyzing his world while stuffing down his feelings. “When I chew loud enough,” he says, “I can’t hear myself think. It’s like a little vacation.” FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE follows Andrew’s journey to self-awareness and self-acceptance (by, unexpectedly, joining the high school football team). By the end of the story, Andrew stops living in his head and starts participating in life. Perhaps most importantly, he comes to understand that feeling different doesn’t make him weird or special; it makes him just like everyone else.”
Now I know I said my first read was going to be Wolfsbane, but the book proved to be too long! Also, I tried for three days to try to get into it, but I’m having a really hard time! It’s not bad and I’m making progress, but it’s still too much to finish in just one day.
So, my first book-a-day challenge book was Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have. Such a quick and easy read! This book is funny, touching, and inspirational.
Andrew Zansky tries something new: football. It reminded me a lot of the book Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach in this way since the main character in that book also takes up football (another great, funny book). I liked this book too because of the fact that I’ve never read a book in which the main character struggles with being over weight. The insight was so surprising and real. While he attempts to appear cool and collected and at peace with his weight and tries his best to just live with it, he can’t. Girls don’t like fat guys, fat guys don’t fit in desks, being fat draws negative attention. These are all things that go through his mind and that he struggles with through the book. He’s extremely insecure and is constantly embarrassed. I felt so bad!
But, when he joins the football team, a lot of things start to turn around. While he still has family problems and a few best friend problems, school starts to be a lot different for him and he even scores friends in the popular crowd. Something that I found that was consistent throughout the story is how much Andrew lives inside his head. He day-dreams all the time and constantly is having conversations with himself in his head.
A problem I had: One thing that bothered me was at the end he started to get really mean and angry! And the thing is, I felt like he never really came back from that which bothers me. We all enjoy to see characters change and grow which he did, but he started to change negatively and by the end I didn’t see a lot of change in that.
Overall this book is great! A humourous, quick read that is one-hundred percent high school.