Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger


   4 Stars - Hilarious hijinks
Dave's dad is determined to teach him to be responsible.  He demands that Dave spend the summer before tenth grade working a job and earning his on spending money.  Working?  What about having fun with his buddies?  Picking up chicks?  Getting a good tan?  Dave isn't alone in his misery.  His best friends' dads are all on board with this idea - demanding that Curtis and Victor also work during their summer vacation rather than "goof off."  The three teens decide that they are creative enough to fool their parents by telling them they had a summer job, but actually come up with their own ways to earn money fast and then spend the summer doing whatever they actually want.  And it almost works at first.  Almost….

   After cleaning out their most prized possessions, the three teens earn over $5,000 at a yard sale - too bad they accidentally damage a brand new sports car during the sale and have to use all the money for repairs.  Not to be discouraged, the boys keep trying.  They even do the unlikely - case out the local bank that has been robbed and are able to find out who is responsible.  Too bad an old lady heard them talking and claimed the reward money for herself!  Readers will get a lot of laughs at the trouble and BAD luck the trio keeps encountering.  Dave, Victor, and Curtis end up spending much more time coming up with ways to get out of working than they would have actually working a summer job!  In the end, though, their determination NOT to work actually pays off in a big way.  Great read for students who enjoyed Happy Kid!  and Diary of a Wimpy Kid!