Cover of In Memory of Todd Woods. A road, a pool, and a plaque that says the title

About the Book

Title: In Memory of Todd Woods
Published: 2011

Cover Story: Intriguing
Drinking Buddy: Dude…No
MPAA Rating: R (sexuality, language)
Talky Talk: Sitcom Hijinks
Bonus Factors: Revenge, Spock’s Beard
Bromance Status: That Jerk From Middle School Who I Can’t Quite Bring Myself To Hate

Cover Story: Intriguing

So what did the author do, have that plaque engraved just for the cover? Or did he find that memorial somewhere and write the story around it? Either way, I’m just happy it’s not a YA cover featuring two handsome teens gazing at each other longingly, shot from the nose down.

The Deal:

Bob One was never a guy that the girls noticed. So when popular and beautiful Ellen asks him to prom, things are great, right? Except his best friend Pete already asked her, and she turned him down. So Bob has to do the honorable thing and say no. Of course he does. Bros before gorgeous girls who you’ll never have a chance with again. Why does doing the right thing always suck?

The third stooge in the trio is Marty, the loud mouthed wise ass who never says the right thing around girls.

Drinking Buddy: Dude…No

Two pints of beer cheersing

I so wanted to be buds with this book. I even dressed up for a night on the town. But that one scene…The hot, drunk chick seduces our nerdy hero, only to pass out right when he gets her top off. So he takes the opportunity to feel her up a little. Gently, so she won’t notice.

Dude, I know she was all into it, and you could have done a lot worse, but when a girl passes out on you, you tuck her in and leave. Do you want your teen readers to think that’s okay, as long as she won’t remember? Have we learned nothing from the lessons of Animal House?

Pinto from 'Animal House' with an angel and a devil on his shoulders

MPAA Rating: R (sexuality, language)

While these guys are not going to bust any heads or fire an RPG at Godzilla from the back of a jet ski, there are some pretty awesome, balls-to-the-walls scenes. This may be the first YA book that features gonad electrocution, though in a lighthearted, funny way. Something the family can enjoy.

Talky Talk: Zany Hijinks

Nerds, over-the-top popular kids, prom night, pranks, love triangles, and VERY SPECIAL LESSONS. This book reads like an eighties sitcom, though Taylor somehow makes that work. I believe this is a self-published novel, but I think the author should have held out for a book deal. There’s a lot of potential here.

Bonus Factor: Revenge


We’ve all thought it: If I were a foot taller, I’d teach you some damn manners. Well, these guys prove that sometimes it’s the smart guys who you don’t want to anger. Their vengeance can be more painful than a simple ass whoopin.

Bonus Factor: Spock’s Beard

A beard

Like all good YA heroes, these guys are Star Trek fans. And like all good Trekkers, they appreciate the episode with the evil, bearded Mr. Spock. Much better than the evil Urkel.

Bromance Status: That Jerk From Middle School Who I Can’t Quite Bring Myself To Hate

Yeah, we never really got along back when we first met, but when I had that chance to throw his books out the bus window, my heart wasn’t in it. And when he friends me on Facebook in ten years, I’ll remember him with nostalgia.

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought this book myself, but I received no money for writing the review.

Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.