11/5/14

How to Be Manly Takes a Well Written Look into Teen Life


By on 11/05/2014 03:30:00 AM

Howtobemanlybabber 

How To Be ManlyIn spite of the fact that I have three daughters--and was certainly never a teenage boy myself--I was interested in Maureen O'Leary Wanket's take on a teen boy's life.   I looked forward to participing in the book tour for How to Be Manly--and in co-hosting the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.  What did I think of the young adult novel, How to Be Manly by Maureen O'Leary Wanket

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  We may also receive slight compensation from affiliate linking within our posts.  All opinions; however, are my own.  

Quick Summary of How to Be Manly by Maureen O’Leary Wanket.  When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to get in shape and get the girl. Summer goals: lose the milkshake weight, join the football team, and turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love. 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.

How to Be Manly is geared toward its young adult audience.  The author tells the story from a teen boy's perspective.  She keeps the details and the story's scenes rather simplistic--but, with enough detail and real world perspective to keep a younger audience engaged.  She does a wonderful job writing from the heart and mind of a young man--and the book is perfectly geared toward its middle school/high school audience.

The author keeps the plot and perspective true to its narrator.  So often, young adult books are told by a child or a young teenager with all of the wisdom and experiences of an adult author.  Maureen O'Leary Wanket keeps the scenes and story's perspectives true to Fatty Matty's narrative talents--but, tells a story to which so many tweens and teens can relate.

How to Be Manly combines simplicity with life's complications.  Matty Sullivan has goals and desires--and an action plan to make some life changes.  Then, as in our all too real worlds, real life threw him some curves.  While the author keeps the story simple--there are a lot of valuable life lessons lurking in the background as Matty struggles with his entry years to manhood.

Would I recommend How to Be Manly by Maureen O’Leary Wanket?  I think this book is perfect for parents, teachers or middle school/younger high school students facing the realities of growing up.  The character faces some setbacks--and some realizations throughout the story that were both entertaining and insightful.  I would recommend the book for young adults and parents alike.

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Meet the Author:

MOW author pic_cr suzanne swansonMaureen 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

The author is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Angela

Angela is a freelance writer and blogger, blessed with 3 daughters, 4 cats, 1 needy dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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