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Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have Hardcover – September 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781606840047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840047
  • ASIN: 1606840045
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,103,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—Andy, an overweight high school sophomore, is bullied by his peers, overprotected by his mother, and ignored by his type-A, absent father. As the school year begins, his friend Eytan has plans for the pair to shine as representatives of Estonia at the model UN meetings, but Andy has his eye on new girl April. When he is recruited as center for the football team, everything changes. For the first time, he experiences parties, girls—including April—and popularity. Initially bogged down by the teen's self-deprecating comments and jokes, the plot begins to develop as Andy describes his new experiences with humor and wit. He is realistic as he shovels food into his mouth to assuage pain and embarrassment, struggles to maintain his friendship with Eytan after abandoning Estonia, and allows himself to be manipulated by teammates. But the author does not lead Andy down the expected path. When forced to make a decision, his choice is unique and the conclusion satisfying. Although these characters lack the intensity of Eric and Sarah in Chris Crutcher's Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (HarperCollins, 1993), many readers will relate to Andy, his desire to be popular, and his insecurities. The possibly offensive locker room language is typical and lends credibility. More importantly, Andy's character is thoughtful and refreshing.—Sue Lloyd, Franklin High School, Livonia, MI END

About the Author

Allen Zadoff was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and went on to live in upstate New York, Manhattan, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. A former stage director, he is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theater Training. His memoir for adults is called Hungry: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin. He currently teaches writing in Los Angeles. Visit Allen at www.allenzadoff.com.

More About the Author

Allen Zadoff is the author of the thriller series THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN which debuted to starred reviews and was a 2014 YALSA Top Ten Pick for Reluctant Readers and a finalist for Best YA Novel in the 2014 International Thriller Awards. .He was born in Boston and went on to live in upstate New York, Manhattan, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. A former stage director, he is a graduate of Cornell University, the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theater Training, and the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop. His novel Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have received the Sid Fleishman Humor Award and was a YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults.
Visit Allen on the web at www.allenzadoff.com.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Allen Zadoff has created a really fun, funny character and put him in some hellacious situations.
Stephanie Hubbard
Andrew has a great sense of humor throughout, and the ending was a surprise that fit the story perfectly.
TeensReadToo
Few days ago, I saw this book featured at the local downtown Oxnard Library, young adult section.
William G. Solis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kaye Michaelson on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was completely absorbed by this book, once I picked it up I couldn't put it down! It is so well written, so funny, with such a wonderful message about being oneself in the face of the tremendous pressure of adolescence coupled with society's twisted love affair with food/war on fat. Given the recent statistic that 66% of Americans are overweight, this book lands smack in the middle of the national zeitgeist with compassion, razor-sharp intelligence and humor. This is a great book for teens and adults - fat or thin.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Wishard on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Okay, first let me say that this book had me literally laughing out loud...as in: I'm laying in bed reading and my kids keep coming into my room asking me "What's so funny?" Yes, it is THAT funny! Plus, anytime I find a book from a boys perspective that's NOT entirely about sports, well that's nice.

Andrews character is very likable and realistic...and I suspect any teen (or adult for that matter) could relate to him even if they aren't overweight. Very few of us are completely happy with the way we look and most of us have dreamed at one point or another of being that person that everybody admires and envies.

The author gives great insight to what its like to be so self conscious of yourself that it rules your every thought and action. Things like "Will I even fit in that desk in my classroom?" Or "Will I ever have a girlfriend/boyfriend?" Sometimes the desperation kids feel to "fit in" makes them do things they normally wouldn't do...as Andrew soon finds out.

This is a funny, well written book that shines the light on what its like to be that overweight kid in school. A lot of people think its as easy as just watching what you eat or exercising, but really its a lot more than that as we find out in Andrews case. Heartwarming and inspirational without being overly sentimental (which might make boys avoid reading it) I highly recommend this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E. Sanzel on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book! This extraordinary young adult novel can be read on many levels and has as much to offer its adult readers as its younger ones. The story is compelling, humorous, and always honest. The characters are vividly brought to life with a truth and complexity that is engaging from first page to last. The story is strongly universal but also has several twists that separate it from more common literature of the genre. A cross between HOW I PAID FOR COLLEGE and THE CHOCOLATE WARS, this is the perfect follow-up to Zadoff's memoir HUNGRY.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William G. Solis on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Few days ago, I saw this book featured at the local downtown Oxnard Library, young adult section. Since I run a middle school public library, I decided to read this book for fun.

Since I have encountered over 300 book reviews on the Internet, on this title, I will limit my comments to just the things I enjoyed about this book and why I would recommend it to other youth/young adult library staff plus high school students:

1.Tender humor on a timely character. Andrew's, first person narrative, obese self-conscious sophomore in high school, of a divorced family household. Enough said. Totally relate-able to teen audience.

2.Lots of great memorable quotes:

"Nancy is oblivious. A girl who has the body mass of a Twinkie can't imagine not fitting into a chair" (p. 26.)

"Now Jessica knows a cheerleader. I am going to own the TiVo for the rest of my life" (p.193)

3.My favorite "scene" in the book: Andrew kicking the soccer ball, knocking over other students like bowling pins and then flying into the goal (pp. 49 - 52).

4.Screen writing opinion. Not sure if there are any book-to-movie offers in the works, but I would like to see this at the box office soon. Please consider the actor James Franco for the role of "O." It feels like the book's character mirrors his many of his memorable onscreen personas.

[...]
Looking forward to reading Mr. Zadoff's other books.

Reviewed links 2/17/10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mint910 VINE VOICE on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have is a wonderful, heartbreaking, honest, and hilarious story. It has something for everyone and it written in short chapters. I found myself wondering how I had read so much so quickly. While I don't really care for sports at all I could definitely respect Andy's journey to find himself, which included football. He's unhappy with his life and he goes out there and tries to find something new that works for him. Through this journey we meet a bunch of classmates including beautiful April and O. the star football player and Eytan the buddy Andy ditches while trying to find himself.

I loved Andy's voice, he is able to bring humor to every situation. I definitely find Andy relatable in the sense that I know what it's like to be uncomfortable in my skin or my clothes, Zadoff captures that frustration perfectly. Andy also has to deal with divorced parents and a younger sister that is much more popular than him (who I just love). The beauty of this story is he wants more for himself and goes out there and finds it.

The ending isn't what I had originally expected but it did feel right. I will point out though, that the ending was wrapped up much to quickly, leaving me with several questions and providing a transition that could have been a lot smoother in my opinion. But overall I great story! I can't wait to see what Zadoff comes up with next!
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