April 2016, CreateSpace, 260 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary from Melody's website
Only four months left, then Dave Martinez is a free man.
Dave is an eighth-grader at Lakeville Boarding School, the school for boys with unexplored potential (aka losers). If he can control his impulse to steal, he can return home and attend regular public school. If he doesn’t, he will be sent to Birmingham High, the worst high school on the planet, and his life will be doomed forever. For just a few more months, he needs to stay out of trouble and keep a low profile. And he’s pretty good at that.
Then Dave gets a new roommate, Tom Grant. Tom is allergic to boring and doesn’t know how to listen to rules. His wild plans involve all of his roommates, especially Dave. They’re dragged along with Tom as he hunts animals (and teachers in pajamas), goes sledding on cafeteria trays, and drives bulldozers through the night. Dave’s chances of keeping a low profile are going down the drain.
Dave experiences a very unusual 3 months at his school for boys who don't behave well. What drew me to a mischievous boys at boarding school tale when I prefer girl protagonists was Tom. I wondered what kind of pranks would happen, considering I love boarding school storiea and have read a lot of books where exciting and not entirely above board activities occur. I wasn't disappointed! Tom is a one of a kind boy. The way he manages to get everyone having a school spirit, through activities which frequently break the rules but somehow benefit others is admirable. I had to keep reading.
I liked how Dave slowly discovered the reason why he stopped stealing things, and just how much Tom's actions changed so many of his classmates. The law abiding part of me was scared every time Dave got sucked into following Tom, because he risked not going to a normal school, but somehow he ended up ok. I honestly thought I'd get to the end and discover Tom had a terminal illness or was a ghost, but thankfully neither happened. I loved how he drew all the boys in Dave's room out of their shells, he was the bizarre catalyst they needed to integrate better in society. The end was as brilliant as all the other chapters, and I was sad to finish reading it.
Find out more on Melody's website.