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Beat the Band Hardcover – September 14, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
It's tenth grade and the boys are upping the ante on their juvenile bets. For the summer, it was to see a real live naked girl. This school year? Cooper's aiming to tag the bases. Coop wants to hook up with model-looking Prudence Nash on the 10th grade health class project...but he's paired with the infamous "Hot Dog" Helen Harriwick. In the eyes of the teens at Lower Rockville High, this is social suicide. So he does what every teen in the depths of loserdom does to reclaim a bit of cool.. forms a band. If Matt, Cooper, and Sean's band, Arnold Murphy's Bologna Dare, wins the Battle of the Bands, they will rocket to cool in no time. Despite the fact none of them can play an instrument, they've never rehearsed, and they have no idea what they're doing. But then Coop spends more time with Helen and discovers what he was missing.
I praised Swim the Fly for its combination of humor with heart. It's good to see Beat the Band doesn't fail in this department. Once again, the characters are somewhat rude and juvenile, the humor might be crude, and the adults in the novel might as well as be teens themselves, but what Calame does so well is make it all work wonderfully. I enjoyed the character development in the first book, Beat the Band gives readers another taste of that. Once again, I have to compare it to Judd Apatow movies - high on crude, laughs, and heart.Read more ›
Although in the same vein of funny as SWIM THE FLY with most of the same cast, BEAT THE BAND (Swim The Fly #2) is a completely different story. To be honest the fact that this second book is written from Cooper's pov had me going in a bit weary from the start. Coop's brazen and often overly juvenile personality, albeit hysterical at times, made him a much less likable character in comparison to Matt, who was just so darn endearing as he narrated his way through book one. But I have to say those concerns were completely a non issue. I'm not saying there weren't some blatantly foul displays of inappropriate male adolescents from Mr. Cooper, because there most definitely were, more than a few and they were laugh-out-loud funny. But we also find there is a lot more to Coop than fart jokes and double entendres in this second installment. Fortunately author Don Calame saw fit to introduce us to the many layers of Cooper Redmond; as he navigates his way through embarrassing Sex Ed Health Class assignments, the school pariah, an out of work dad, hawt mean girls, his first kiss, the battle of the bands and his conscious.
This is a definite equal opportunity series that teens and adults of both genders will relate to and enjoy. I'm a 32 year old mom of 2 boys and I loved both books. I highly recommend the audio versions, which have provided countless hours of entertainment and distraction for me on the evil treadmill. Narrator Nick Podehl expertly gives a voice and a very distinct individuality to each character. I really hope Calame plans to round out the group and put out a third book from Sean's pov.
Cooper is basically the ring leader for his group of friends. He's the one who comes up with dumb ideas and cajoles his friends to come along. Now, he's convinced them to enter into the school Battle Of The Bands contest. Never mind that they're terrible players and have to cheat their way in - all that matters is that they're sure to win, become rock-star gods, and have girls running at them tossing their clothes off. Cooper's plan to become Mr. Cool suffers a setback when he's matched up with Hot Dog Helen to do a semester long project in health class on methods of birth control.
The book is hard to read at times simply because Cooper is such a jerk. Not that he's a bad person, but he's fulfills every stereotype of a hormone-crazed teenager. His constantly sexually-charged thoughts were annoying and I disliked his tendency to throw people under the bus to further his own popularity. But I admire Don Calame for having the guts to give us a difficult protagonist. Matt, the narrator of Swim The Fly, was basically a sweet boy - not so good as to be unbelievable but still had a strong moral compass. Calame really has to work to make the reader like Cooper.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved Swim the Fly, so as soon as I had some time, I picked up Beat the Band. And I wasn't disappointed! Read morePublished 10 months ago by Goldfinch
This book was outstanding. It was really funny at times, and really heart breaking at others. It does have a lot of crude humor in it, but it's worth it.Published 11 months ago by Ann Maede
---- "I couldn't stop laughing at this book. Cooper may be the most unlikely (and yet thoroughly likeable) hero you'll ever find yourself rooting for. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Cameron
I read the first on and read it in one day and by one day I meant 8am to 3am in the morning. It was the same with this book. Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I am a teacher and this is not a book that I would recommend to students. It should be rated R. I read the first couple of chapters. I threw the book away.Published on November 23, 2013 by R. L. Whimpey
This is the second book in this developing series. However, Calame appears to have a better sense what this series is all about with this instalment. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Habs
Just a good, fun read! Great Characters and a nice look at another one of the boys from "Swim the Fly". Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by luv2laf
A truly great and relevant story for todays youth. I was surprised to find Coop as the narrator of this story, but quickly got over that fact once the story really got rolling. Read morePublished on August 23, 2012 by Eric Jenney
I havent read swim the fly yet but now I definitely want to...the characters are hilarious and anything that comes out of cooper's mouth has me laughing out loud. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by H. Dinh