SOPHOMORE UNDERCOVER by Ben Esch

SOPHOMORE UNDERCOVER

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fourteen-year-old Stilton High sophomore Dixie Nguyen is the only student who works on the school paper. He’s sure he’s found the scoop of a lifetime when he catches a member of the football team shooting up in the locker room, but it’s Dixie who gets busted for possession after a disastrous run-in with a school security guard. Dixie spends his week of in-school suspension investigating to clear his name with the help of a new friend, Goth-girl Brynn. From a cringe-inducingly creepy relationship with the newspaper’s faculty adviser to a whiskey-soaked undercover visit to a bar to his nude accusations at the Homecoming dance, Dixie stumbles his way through the most downright pathetic investigation imaginable. If any of this sounds as if it might induce a laugh of any kind other than uncomfortable, it won’t. Esch’s debut is a string of embarrassingly unfunny one-liners (most of which rely on penises for their effect) larding a nonsensical plot that features a hopelessly clueless straight-A, ethnic-for-no-reason (other than to have a “funny” name) narrator surrounded by caricatures. Trying for snarky and sarcastic, this barely achieves lame; no teen will thank you for including this in your collection. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1303-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2008




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