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“You won’t be sorry; I promise… this is going to be epic!” –Cooper Redmond… Famous last words, yes? Maybe, but that all depends on how you look at it. Even when you lose, sometimes you win something much better.
Although in the same vein of funny as SWIM THE FLY with most of the same cast, BEAT THE BAND (Swim The Fly #2) is a completely different story. To be honest the fact that this second book is written from Cooper’s pov had me going in a bit weary from the start. Coop’s brazen and often overly juvenile personality, albeit hysterical at times, made him a much less likable character in comparison to Matt, who was just so darn endearing as he narrated his way through book one. But I have to say those concerns were completely a non issue. I’m not saying there weren’t some blatantly foul displays of inappropriate male adolescents from Mr. Cooper, because there most definitely were, more than a few and they were laugh-out-loud funny. But we also find there is a lot more to Coop than fart jokes and double entendres in this second installment. Fortunately author Don Calame saw fit to introduce us to the many layers of Cooper Redmond; as he navigates his way through embarrassing Sex Ed Health Class assignments, the school pariah, an out of work dad, hawt mean girls, his first kiss, the battle of the bands and his conscious.
This is a definite equal opportunity series that teens and adults of both genders will relate to and enjoy. I’m a 32 year old mom of 2 boys and I loved both books. I highly recommend the audio versions, which have provided countless hours of entertainment and distraction for me on the evil treadmill. Narrator Nick Podehl expertly gives a voice and a very distinct individuality to each character. I really hope Calame plans to round out the group and put out a third book from Sean's pov.
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An outstanding sequel to Swim the Fly! Like the Harry Potter characters, I loved reconnecting with these fellows and their exploits. Nick Podehl's narration is outstanding and those character voices will be forever ingrained in my head. Should there be another in this series, Nick Podehl better do the narration.
Swim the Fly was written from the perspective of Matt, who is one of the three boys whose exploits we hilariously follow. It is in this character's voice that the author/narrator tells the story.
Beat the Band, is from the perspective of Coop and therefore it is in Coop's voice the story is told. I don't ever recall this character perspective switch in any series I've previously read. It was initially a surprise since the first book had me loving the Matt character. His switch to a supporting character in this book took a little getting used to as it was so unexpected. It was this unique perspective switch that helped spark even more interest in this book and I quickly came to like Coop just as much.
There is one major character left, Sean. I sincerely hope the author has at least one more story in him regarding this series. I would love to read/listen to another from Sean's perspective so that I may love each of the characters equally.
Again, like Swim the Fly this was laugh-out-loud, young male adolescent humor which is just my speed but this time with a touch of seriousness and sincerity. I loved it.