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The New David Espinoza

by Fred Aceves

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552397,101 (4.33)None
This own voices story from the acclaimed author of The Closest I've Come unflinchingly examines steroid abuse and male body dysmorphia. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Matt De La Peña. David Espinoza is tired of being messed with. When a video of him getting knocked down by a bully's slap goes viral at the end of junior year, David vows to use the summer to bulk up-- do what it takes to become a man--and wow everyone when school starts again the fall. Soon David is spending all his time and money at Iron Life, a nearby gym that's full of bodybuilders. Frustrated with his slow progress, his life eventually becomes all about his muscle gains. As it says on the Iron Life wall, What does not kill me makes me stronger. As David falls into the dark side of the bodybuilding world, pursuing his ideal body at all costs, he'll have to grapple with the fact that it could actually cost him everything.… (more)
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3.5 ( )
  DestDest | Jul 29, 2020 |
David Espinoza is a 98 lb. weakling. He gets bullied at school and even has a "bitch slap" scene go viral. The summer vacation provides a chance for him to remake himself. He visits a local gym -- sketchy but cheap -- and begins to work out regularly. When he sees no progress in a week, when surrounded by super-buff guys, he takes drastic measures. He seeks out and takes steroids and other body-enhancing measures. What begins as exciting soon turns compulsive. The steroid effects and bodybuilding culture takes over David's life. Will he quit before it is too late? This is a hard-hitting, graphic first-hand account of steroid abuse and muscle dysmorphia. It should be required reading for young men lured by the promise of building muscle quickly. This is the often over-looked boy's perspective on this issue. The author Aceves also does a nice job of showing that physical changes don't mean that much when you're still emotionally insecure and seeing the world (your body) through a distorted lens. ( )
  mjspear | Mar 26, 2020 |
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For all of you struggling with a silent hurt. You matter. You are not alone. You are loved. I see you.
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It sucks being the skinniest guy at Culler High.
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This own voices story from the acclaimed author of The Closest I've Come unflinchingly examines steroid abuse and male body dysmorphia. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Matt De La Peña. David Espinoza is tired of being messed with. When a video of him getting knocked down by a bully's slap goes viral at the end of junior year, David vows to use the summer to bulk up-- do what it takes to become a man--and wow everyone when school starts again the fall. Soon David is spending all his time and money at Iron Life, a nearby gym that's full of bodybuilders. Frustrated with his slow progress, his life eventually becomes all about his muscle gains. As it says on the Iron Life wall, What does not kill me makes me stronger. As David falls into the dark side of the bodybuilding world, pursuing his ideal body at all costs, he'll have to grapple with the fact that it could actually cost him everything.

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