Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Losing It by Erin Fry

Bennett loves watching Dodgers games with his dad.  Their ritual includes eating lots of fatty foods.  Bennett feels a little guilty eating so much because he and his dad are already very overweight but their baseball ritual is not only fun, it also helped them heal after his mother died of cancer.  But the bad habits catch up to them when Bennett's dad has a stroke.  With his dad facing months of recovery Bennett has to go live with his fitness fanatic aunt and uncle.  Worse, he learns that the insurance company won't pay the medical bills if his father doesn't recover fast enough.  Scared by the stroke and thinking about his own future Bennett decides he needs to push himself harder and signs up for the track team.  His decision has some unexpected consequences.  He finds it easier to talk to a girl he has always liked and he has a new group of supporters when a bully harasses him.  But on the downside, his best friend seems to be mad at him and accuses him of selling out.  Bennett's transformation reads a little bit forced to me although the story overall seems realistic, especially the conflicting emotions from his friend.  I did appreciate, however, the descriptions of Bennett's struggles running which made it clear that even when he was getting better, it was still really hard.  I think that might be inspiring to others who think they can't exercise because it's not easy.  Even those who exercise regularly still find it difficult.