by Heidi Voss
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Pub Date 06 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2022
Matthew Shaw is banned from his school's online counseling forum. Is it a crime his advice posts and anarchy blog are more popular than those on the school website?
Though he's being as sincere as possible, Matthew, posting as "Frogman" online, wreaks havoc at Henry Blake High with advice that causes breakups, instigates a cheerleader fistfight, and turns a school assembly into an angry mob.
When Matthew's private notebook goes missing, he worries not only about blowing his secret identity but about being suspended and ruining his shot to escape Mom's hoarding house.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
I loved this book and I loved the advice the main character offers! What a cool idea for a school to have that option and also the practicality of the advice he offers is beyond his years. Funny and unique story with a deeper meaning. Enjoyable read.
Matthew Shaw is an unintentional loner. He wants friends but friends mean inviting people to his house and his mom has made sure that he'll never do that. His mom is a hoarder and Matthew does everything he can to keep himself and his life in the house away from those outside the house.
After Matt's best friend moves out of state, Matt seeks solace in the idea of helping others. He contributes to the school's advice forum under the pseudonym of "Frogman". And while he thinks he may actually be helping, the school's counselor does not and ends up shutting down the forum. Now Matt has all this advice and nowhere to share it.
Matt enlists the help of the school anarchist and the girl who runs all the practical elements of the student body council. Together, they start their own blog and begin sharing ideas and advice with the students of Henry Blake High.
But not everyone likes Matt's advice. Some take it far too literally. Others get caught in the undertow of bad decisions. And the counselor wants to expel "Frogman" just as soon as he figures out who he really is.
Can Matt figure out how to manage his home life, his academic life, and his advice columnist persona?
Final thoughts: While there are some excellent realistic portrayals here of high school life, there are also quite a few stock characters who never seem to learn or grow. One of those is Matthew Shaw himself. There is a resolution to this story, but it feels rushed and incomplete and Matt never seems to actually change when it's all over. His life doesn't really get better. His mom is still hoarding. He's still an outcast to many. It just feels unfinished.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
I loved this book. I was really emotionally attached to the characters. I felt like every character was unique and real. I appreciated the reality of hoarding and the consequences of it. That is also true of the advice column. It seemed the characters were trying to cope by acting out in different ways. It made the book more engaging for me and made me want to find out what would happen next and how it would all get resolved.
This is worth your time.
One last note, I found out that this book is published by Wild Rose Press which is near me. I've never thought about a publishing house before but I am really proud that this press is supporting so many authors! Cheers to the Authors, Editors and Publishers! You are all awesome!!!!
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