But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-baked weed-dealing schemes, Matty’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. When on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matty suddenly has much bigger things to worry about than football and whether or not Cassie’s going to call him back. And it turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.
Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing… even when you’re not sure what that is.
I really liked this book. I felt like I was able to relate to Matty, being an overweight kid, myself. I also could appreciate the confusion, fear, and concern of dealing with his grandfather, who is suffering from some kind of dementia. My mother has Alzheimer's and I have been in some of those situations.
Matty wants to do the right thing. He thinks he is doing the right thing. But sometimes as you are struggling to figure out life, you end up doing the wrong thing. Matty learns so many lessons in his journey about life, friendship, love, and family. He discovers truth and what it means to be genuine. He learns about the old cliche about the grass always being greener. As he tries to learn from Tad Manly, he in turn learns how to be truly manly in his own right. He learns how to take care of himself and those around him. He learns a lot about making the right choices. And he even learns to laugh a bit along the way.
While Matty's personal story may not follow exactly what a lot of of teens are going through, the fundamental issues and intrinsic battles should be familiar to both male and female readers. It may make you reflect on decisions you made back then, as well as ones you are preparing to make right now, even if you are a teenager times two in age. This was worth the read.
Meet the Author:Maureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years. She loves high school football, but only when she happens to teach at least half of the players on the field.
Her short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle.
Maureen writes articles about issues in education for local and national publications. She also muses about inspirations for a writer’s life in Friday Free Topic at http://maureenoleary.wordpress.com.
How To Be Manly is her first novel.
Find Maureen on: Twitter | Blog | Goodreads
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