Fat Boy vs.the Cheerleaders by Greg Herbach
Gabe is a fat kid. He gorges on his grandpa’s rich dinners, gave up the swim team, and has been known to guzzle a half dozen Code Red Mountain Dews in a single day from his school’s vending machine. He, and many of his classmates, justify the existence of this significant cause of obesity in young people because the proceeds go to the marching band, of which Gabe is a member (no, he doesn’t play tuba—he’s a trombonist, thank you very much). Or so they all thought until Gabe and his friends Justin and Camille discover that the money has been surreptitiously re-routed to the new dance squad headed by none other than the beautiful and popular Kailey Klaus, whose family happens to own the vending machine company.
Enraged and energized by this unfair—and perhaps illegal—funnelling of the band’s money, Gabe decides to get his act together and bring this injustice to light. But Justin becomes suddenly unreachable and Camille’s plans to win back the money seem ineffective and, frankly, lame. So Gabe enlists his former body-builder grandfather to help him shed his “hey-it’s-the-funny-fat-kid” image so that he can convince his fellow bandmates that he means business. At the same time, he makes friends with the new star quarterback RC III, and falls in love with a six-foot tall goth girl named Gore. (Okay, her name isn’t really Gore. It’s Chandra.) This unlikely trio of friends rally the even more unlikely group of band nerds to fight the machine and bring the injustice of the vending machine money to light. But they face unlikely enemies in their battle for the band—and a surprise ally who just may be the key in righting this grievous wrong.
Gabe is hysterically and brutally honest about himself and his chances of success in facing down the popular and beautiful dance squad with only a handful of music freaks and social outcasts by his side. He’s one of the most likeable protagonists I’ve met in a book in a long time. It’s a great, light-hearted read to enjoy this summer!