Fat Kid Rules the World
Written by: K. L. Going
Reviewed by: Christian Blydt-Hansen
Recommended Audiences: High School
Troy Billings is a 17 year old, 296 pound, six foot one “Fat Kid.” He stands in the subway waiting for his train. Though he’s not going to get on the train, he’s going to jump in front of it. He’s thinking whether it would be funny or not, to see a fat kid get hit by a train. He laughs at the fact and hears someone talking to him. He looks down to see a dirty, skinny blonde kid who just saved his life. Little did he know, he had just met punk rock legend Curt MacCrae. This is the beginning of the long journey that the two will go on together, the journey to become punk rockers, or so Curt thinks. “I saved your life,” Curt tells Troy. “You owe me lunch.” Curt has dreams of starting up a punk rock band, and Troy has dreams of just getting home. He’s gotten more than he bargained for paying for Curt’s lunch, and now Curt wants him to be the drummer in his new punk rock band. Troy doesn’t believe him, and lies saying he can play the drums. Troy’s jerk of a brother Dayle certainly didn’t support the idea of a band of a fat loser and a skinny drug addict. His father also wasn’t too happy when he showed up to their apartment trailed by a dirtier than you can imagine homeless kid. Curt was determined to make a band, not knowing his drummer had no clue what he was doing.
This book is told from Troy’s perspective, and highlights the troubles he has in his world from being the “fat kid.” He’s in constant paranoia that everyone’s looking at him, everyone’s laughing at him, everyone’s judging him, because of his weight. He often talks to himself in his head about what he thinks others are thinking about him. Curt’s a perfect foil to Troy, he’s super skinny, comes from nothing, and doesn’t care what anyone’s thinking about him. He simply does whatever he feels like doing. He develops a special attachment to Troy, though, which puzzles Troy. He constantly thinks why me? Curt believes in Troy, but Troy doesn’t always believe in himself. Throughout the book, it seems that Curt is always the one helping Troy, starting with saving his life. As the book progresses, though, Troy begins to give back what Curt’s given him, and learn from Curt. The formation of the band initially gives Troy quite a bit of trouble, but helps him without him knowing it. He only sees what’s on top, he doesn’t dig what deep enough into things. And Curt digs deeper than anyone should into anything, and hanging with Curt helps Troy change his perspective on life, and his perspective on being the “fat kid.”
Fat Kid Rules the World is a book about finding yourself, and learning how to be yourself. It’s a book about now learning how to act based upon how you want to act, not on how society wants you to act. It’s a very fight the power! type of book that defies the norm of the high school experience meta. Troy learns a lot about himself throughout the book, and Curt does, do. This book’s not just about Troy, the main character, it can also be viewed from Curt’s perspective, too. Overall, this was an enjoyable book to read. I enjoyed the story as well as following the progression of the characters throughout the book. I’d consider the book to be for a more mature audience, given some of the mature language and themes used in the book. I’d recommend reading it if you’re looking to read a fun book, given it’s relatively short and a good book.
Trailer from movie based this book: