That smile of hers had tipped me off. I'd seen it more times than you could count on an abacus, and it always meant the same thing: she had an idea, something sneaky or secret; she was up to something, and any second I'd be up to something right along with her. That's how she'd always been with me. She knew I got into trouble more often than most people got out of bed, and she usually took a minute or two to remind me all about it when we were alone. But that never stopped her from egging me on, coming up with pranks or stunts I could pull just for the hell of it, convincing me to do them.
Eugene “Huge” Smalls doesn’t have much going for him. He’s middle schooler whose reputation as a violent troublemaker precedes him. His teachers have written him off and even his family seems to be working against him. Except for his dear grandmother, who supported him through his tribulations and introduced him to important role models that helped shape who he is today: Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. So, you may have guessed it…this is a coming-of-age, mystery novel. Set in 1980s, suburban New Jersey, Huge finds himself in the midst of investigating a mystery that seems to be getting him into more trouble than it’s worth. Just as he is getting to the bottom of it, he must decide between solving the mystery and losing his precious, teenage freedom.
Fuerst creates a credible and witty character in Huge. He taps into the volatile and impulsive psyche of a lonely, middle school outcast. Huge’s character has a distinct hard-boiled detective feel as does the tone of the novel. A black comedy and mystery with a twist, Huge explores friendship, love, family ties, and interdependence. Laugh out loud humor, a memorable protagonist, and the evocative imagery in this whodunit will engage most readers. Not one of the best books I’ve ever read, but would definitely suggest it and it’s a great summer read!
**Warning: This book contains mature themes and profanity. Suggested for readers in high school and up.**