Stick | Andrew Smith
Feiwel & Friends
Fourteen-year-old Stark McClellan (nicknamed Stick because he’s tall and thin) is bullied for being “deformed” – he was born with only one ear. His older brother Bosten is always there to defend Stick. But the boys can’t defend one another from their abusive parents.A while ago, I received an email, asking to be apart of the cover reveal for STICK. And now, the book is here and published and in stores and being read. Time flies.
When Stick realizes Bosten is gay, he knows that to survive his father's anger, Bosten must leave home. Stick has to find his brother, or he will never feel whole again. In his search, he will encounter good people, bad people, and people who are simply indifferent to kids from the wrong side of the tracks. But he never loses hope of finding love – and his brother.
About a year ago, I got my first taste of Andrew Smith. His novel THE MARBURY LENS was sorta crazy—I think in my review I said something along the lines of, “Andrew Smith writes about rape and dismemberment, and he doesn’t make you feel awkward AT ALL.” I was totally being honest. I was talking about Andrew’s level of awesome with one of my friends, and he said something like, “He stands out among cookie cutter writers.” And that’s true, too. Andrew Smith’s books are all these different things, and I absolutely love them.
In STICK, Stark McClellan is missing some things. He does not have a girlfriend, he does not have a loving family, and he does not have a left ear (or was it right?). What he does have is a gay brother, Bosten, and a gut feeling that he needs to escape from the tight clutches of his abusive father before he finds out.
Bosten leaves, and rightly so, but he left Stark (“Stick”) behind. STICK is about a boy who wants something so bad, more than anything in the universe.
So, this book? Was written in this cool little way. Because Stick is missing one ear, he hears things different. Words travel slower. And Andrew Smith shows the reader this on the page, through funky formatting. I wouldn’t call it verse or prose, it’s just… different. Much like the story itself.
Second to the writing, the characters and their relationships with each other are probably the best thing about STICK. Andrew Smith can write about brotherhood dynamics better than anyone I know, and I got so immersed in the story I felt like they were my brothers and I was on this epic journey with them.
STICK really just blew my mind.
It’s different. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before. It’s Andrew Smith.