Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous — 6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has no one at school and life in his trailer park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.
There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.
To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS — Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.
Yeah, I enjoyed this book so much! I loved Cliff's narration, and the whole concept of a near death experience, meeting God and given a list of things to improve the school. It's a fantastic book, about making the world a better place, people being different then they seem, and suicide and dealing with the aftermath.
Cliff is smarter then his appearance suggests. Because of both facts-his intelligence and his appearance, he's developed a defense mechanism that kept everybody at bay. Everybody but his brother. And losing him, and the way it happened, it's made him angry and in the beginning, he welcomed any chance to unleash that anger on the world.
These different characters had their different strengths and as a group, they accomplished quite a lot. The different skills needed to check off different items on the list, from getting a teacher to realize why he loved teaching, to the face off with the religious group, they were provided by these different characters. They were all needed!
Kinda hiding throughout this book, but peeking out here and there until the end where it was showcased, was suicide, specifically that of Cliff's brother. As well as grief and living in the aftermath, it was a pretty big pillar of this book.
Yeah, this book was fantastic and such a great read, and a great book!
Author: Preston Norton
Read: March 25th, 2019
Reason Why: Sounded really good, and it's a SAC 2019 Book!
Published: May 22nd 2018