High Before Homeroom
At sixteen years old, Doug Schaffer knows two things for sure:
1. He is doomed to live in the shadow of his older brother, Trevor, a former high school football star who is stationed in Iraq.
2. Free-spirited Laurilee, the hot ear-piercing girl at the mall, only dates bad boys.
Cue Doug's foolproof plan to tarnish his own unremarkable reputation. The first step is to develop a drug addiction. His mom's too preoccupied with organizing care packages for Mothers Support Our Troops Northwest Oklahoma City Chapter to stop him. Besides, he just needs to get hooked on meth long enough to come back from rehab a totally different person. Someone people notice.
With the help of Trevor’s strung-out former high-school buddy, drug addict Doug has the confidence that loser Doug never mustered. He stays out all night, scores girls, and stands up for himself. Then Trevor unexpectedly returns home with a dark secret of his own, and everything Doug thought was true is shattered. Soon the brothers find a common ground they never knew they shared as they discover the price of pleasing others is the freedom to be yourself.
Losers, now you can get the bad-boy rep the girls find positively irresistible!
Read an Excerpt
Laurilee’s legs are bare and faintly bluish beneath the pleats of her plaid jumper. She once told me that it is the same one she wore in Catholic grade school. A lot of guys would get a stiffy if a girl told them that. I’m one of those guys.
Laurilee and I crouch behind the Dumpster at the back entrance of Penn Square Mall. We lean against the concrete wall and smoke unfiltered Camels. I used to smoke Parliaments until I met Laurilee. I like the Camels. I like how the shreds of tobacco get stuck to the end of my tongue. I cock my head to the left and spit them out and it makes me feel like a... see more
Reading Group Guide
Doug Schaffer is ordinary. He is also hopelessly bright, hopelessly in love with a girl named Laurilee, and feeling hopeless about life. His father isn’t in his life, his mother is emotionally absent, and the love of his life has a thing for “bad boys.” To add to his angst is Trevor, his very popular, good-looking and adored older brother away in the military serving his country. Determined to fit in, get noticed and be like his hero Jack Kerouac in On the Road, Doug concocts a plan to get everything he’s ever wanted: Attention from his mother, attention from girls, but mostly especially attention from Laurilee. With great wit and punchy observations, author Maya Sloan takes us on the road with Doug to find what he’s always wanted.
1. Mediocrity is a theme in the novel. Discuss some of the places it comes up. Talk about the lengths people go to stand out. Talk about how scared people are to deviate.
2. From Amy to Angela, Doug& see more