Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Dumb Jock 3: Appearances Matter by Jeff Erno

Dumb Jock 3: Appearances Matter (Dumb Jock #3) by Jeff Erno
Self-Published
Novella: 116pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Todd Hoffman, age sixteen, doesn't have an easy life. Not only does he live with his alcoholic mother in a rundown mobile home, but he's also a bit of a social outcast at school. He doesn't have the nice clothing, shoes, and car the other students have. He has only one really close friend, Shannon, but even she doesn't understand him completely. He knows he can never confide in her his deepest secret. He can't tell anyone, not even his favorite teacher.

But Todd finds a way to express his feelings when he learns about fan fiction. Being a gifted writer, Todd begins to write stories--gay stories--about another boy he's secretly crushing on. He posts the stories on a fan fiction website.

When the object of Todd's affection one day notices him and asks him out, Todd feels like he is suddenly living a dream, that his literary fantasy is becoming real. Soon, however, he realizes that reality and fantasy are two different things, and he has to determine if Galen, the high school soccer team captain, is the boy of his dreams or just another dumb jock.

This is book three of the Dumb Jock series, and the story is linked to the previous books by featuring several common characters. Jeff and Brett are present as are Adam and Trevor. Book three is a continuation of the first two installments, but also serves as a standalone read.


Review:
This is old news, but I am a huge fan of Jeff Erno. His books always make me teary eyed and he's the author of one of my fave series ever (Puppy Love). I have really liked all the books in the Dumb Jock series and this one is no exception. I just somehow feel this time around that the jock/nerd thing has been played a bit too often. The dynamics of relationship just always feel like too much of the same (been there, read that) and I would just really like to see a change.

Todd life is less than stellar, he lives in a mobile home with his alcoholic mother and he doesn't quite fit in at school. With the help of his English teacher, Todd gets lost in the written word, and creates a world where he's adventurous and not a social outcast. When he wins an award for one of his essays, it means he has to stand up in front of the entire school and present it. Never being the centre attention, Todd is experiencing a freak out but speaking out comes in handy when he gets the attention of Galen superstar soccer player and the boy from the rich side of the tracks.

This was a cute short read, but as I said, felt like I read it already. Maybe I am just getting tired of the rich boy jock and poor boy geek trope but this one failed to move like the two previous books. Dumb Jock 3 does have moments of true emotions, but it pushed conflict when I felt like it didn't need any.

I am also not on board with Galen's feelings after his little confession about why he started dating Todd. Maybe it’s just me, but that would have pissed me off in epic ways, but of course Todd takes it all in stride (what annoyed me most about him). I understand the whole sensitive small in stature boy thing he had going on but I felt that he should have been a little upset with Galen.

If there is ever a Dumb Jock 4, I am hoping for a little a change. The whole nerd who is so poor needs a changeroo, and maybe this time the Jock can be a somewhat poor shy guy. While my misgivings seem a bit strong, I did enjoy the book. It’s perfect for an afternoon read, and will please fans of the series.

Should You Read It? If you are a fan, sure why not. If awesomer than life jocks float your boat, and you are a long time Jeff Erno fan (knock yourself out) then this short would do you good, and there is re-visits from old characters. But overall, I'm feeling SSDB (Same Shit Different Book).

3.5 Pants Off

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