Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Review: The Second Base Club by Greg Trine


Elroy’s got one thing on his mind: girls. In an effort to get to second base, he offers to tutor the hot new girl in math, forms a band with his two best friend (okay, so he gets a face full of tomato for his efforts) and joins the wrestling team.

He’s a little vague on the whole bases thing, but the jocks have a club dedicated to getting there with every girl they can. And now that he’s a jock (sort of), maybe Elroy will find out for himself what it means to be a member of the Second Base Club.


The Short Version:
Humorous at some times and overly crude at others, The Second Base Club was a good premise that didn’t have the best execution for me. With a main character that was so girl-focused he came off flat, and too heavy an emphasis on stereotypes, there were a few areas that rubbed me the wrong way. Despite this, there were several strong messages and some very realistic moments, and this book certainly gives an interesting look into the mind of a teenage boy who just doesn’t get girls.

The Extended Version:
Elroy starts out as a relatable character—a boy who wants a girlfriend, but isn’t sure how to go about it, who is faking it in his confidence, and who’s best friend is just as confused about girls as he is. He does have some strong points of his personality, and there are reasons why a girl would like him, once she got past this lanky build and his geek-like status. That’s where it stays, in my opinion. The entire book, Elroy focused on girls. From joining the wrestling team to trying to start a band, everything he did was to try to get a girl with little other personal motivations for him or other sides of his personality shown. While the realism of this is there, I felt it was a little too extreme and drawn out in this setting. His best friend is about the same, so girl focused he comes off as flat and single-dimensioned.

While the plot did have its moments, and I did appreciate the fact that Elroy didn’t instantly get a girl each time he tried something new, the overall chain of events wasn’t as engaging as I’d hoped. One particular scene left a bad taste in my mouth, showing a very bad side of Elroy without much repercussion. There were some other scenes I didn’t completely see the reason for, even bordering on juvenile and a little too stereotypical for me.

The premise, however, is intriguing. The existence of a Second-Base club, or a way for the jocks to not only come together but to have a way to track their hook ups is certainly something that I could see happening in some high schools. It doesn’t include every jock, and they don’t make it public. While Elroy isn’t really a part of this club, he gets a sampling of it which leads to the final climax that does redeem his character. What happens at this particular event, however, isn’t handled very realistically for me, and the aftermath is convenient more than anything.

The writing is good, bringing out Elroy’s thoughts and holding nothing back with it. Despite a few scenes, he does have an overall respect for girls, he simply gets a little too lost in his curiosity and desire to have one. Though I did feel the stereotypes of both sexes were overplayed and relied on a little too heavily, the basis of it did play a good role in the story overall. Though there were a few things about this book I couldn’t ignore, the messages were good with a clear purpose, and it does spotlight the struggle some teenage boys do go through just to even talk to a girl.

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805089675
ISBN-13: 978-0805089677


  1. I'm not sure this book would be my cup of tea but I always enjoy your reviews. I Love that you always give your honest opinion.

  2. That cover is hilarious!
    Thanks for the review - I felt this way about the movie Knock-up, I found the humor juvenile and crude.