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Literature / Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

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Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie is a Young Adult novel written by David Lubar, focusing on young Scott Hudson's freshman year at J. P. Zenger High.

The book is written partly as a narrative from Scott's point of view and the "letters" that Scott writes for his expected new sibling (which gradually evolves into a diary of sorts for Scott). Scott's freshman year is one of mostly comical ups and downs, where he has to deal with overwhelming amounts of schoolwork, friends both old and new, his loving but troubled brother, and how a childhood friend grows into the girl of his dreams. A sequel called Sophomores and Other Oxymorons was released in 2015.


Examples of tropes include:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: How Scott's mother justifies Julia's attraction to Jerk Jock Vernon.
  • Berserk Button: Scott snaps when he learns Kyle was the one who put up the nasty note on Lee's locker telling her to kill herself, and appropriately tackles him.
  • Book Dumb: Scott's older brother Bobby is a more serious case in that he's revealed to be illiterate.
  • The Bully: Westly. After Scott gradually befriends him, he mellows out.
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Franka, Scott's English teacher, is not only his favorite, but also a Lafayette graduate and a former Marine.
  • Dance of Romance: Subverted in that Scott's dance with Julia at the last school dance doesn't amount to more than a sweet reacquaintance. Might be the case between Scott and Lee though.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Scott dishes out some knife-sharp one-liners when he's in a particularly irritated mood.
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  • Did Not Get the Girl: Double-subverted; Julia opening up to Scott after breaking up with Vernon makes it seem like a case of Loser Gets the Girl, but Scott decides that his friendship with Lee was more important than what was more or less a shallow crush. Doesn't mean he doesn't regret it, but both seem happy to be Just Friends later on.
  • Dirty Coward: Vernon turns out to be this. Scott even notes it as the key reason why Vernon stinks at football and wrestling.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: For most of the novel, it seems like the universe is determined to not let Scott get Julia.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Cravutto, Scott's gym teacher.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mouth. Thank goodness that it wasn't pulled through. it is a wham moment in an otherwise light-hearted book.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: After Mouth's attempt at suicide, students start making 'jokes' about it]]. Scott lamp shades how tasteless said-jokes are.
  • Everybody Has Standards: Kelly is shocked that Vernon would outright beat up Scott rather than simply scare him. She even apologizes for her indirect involvement in it.
  • Good Parents: Scott's parents are marginal characters, but care and love both of their sons very much.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: A non-superhero variation. When Scott is unhappy that he didn't inherit strength or car mechanic skills like his father and Bobby, his mother points out that they all share good hearts, and that's what's really important.
  • Heel Realization: During one of his journal entries, Scott starts to recognize how pathetic his pessimism sounds on paper. If anything, he doesn't want to come off to his unborn sibling as a buzzkill who never wants to have any fun.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Not helped by the fact that Scott's voice happened to be maturing just as he was auditioning for the musical.
  • Jerkass: Vernon all the way. Kyle is arguably worse, going from being a simple Jerk Jock to this by the end.
  • Jerk Jock: Vernon and some of his football buddies are textbook examples; Kyle becomes one to the point where he and Scott become completely estranged.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Scott may be snarky, pessimistic and (at worst) selfish. But throughout and the story (and with every journal entry he writes to his unborn sibling), we see that Scott is a good kid with a sense of right and untapped courage.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Lee's refusal to fit into any of the school's cliques makes her come off as this.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Played with. It's not the idea of being the neglected middle child that bothers him as it is just the "neglected" part. Not to mention he's worried about being an older sibling when he feels he's not someone worth looking up to.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Kyle sets up Scott, his (ex)friend to be beaten up by Vernon.
  • Motor Mouth: Mouth. So much.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: None of Scott's Spanish teachers except his last one can pronounce Spanish without some French, Vietnamese, or something added into the mix.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Mouth, whose real name is Louden. You be the judge on which is worse.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Julia elicits this reaction from Scott the moment he sees her at the bus stop on their first day.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Scott (a major bookworm who loves to learn but relatively average in anything else) and Bobby (a high school dropout who fixes cars and now works as a struggling guitarist). Despite this, they are very close and often support each other in times of need.
  • Shout-Out: Given to several renowned works of literature thanks to Scott, some of which include The Princess Bride, Ender's Game, and Tuck Everlasting.
  • Tom Swifty: Scattered throughout the book, though they're all made by Scott and other various characters purposefully after learning them in English class and finding them hilarious.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Kyle starts out as a member of Scott's circle of close friends. But once they start high school, Kyle gradually drifts from being Scott's vitriolic best bud to outright being a Jerk Jock who won't give Scott the time of day. The fight over the nasty note on Lee's locker is the wake up call Scott needs to realize they stopped being friends long ago. And it gets to the point past ex-friends when Kyle helps Vernon set up Scott to get beat up.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Bobby and Scott eventually exchange this with each other, Bobby acknowledging his younger brother's intelligence and Scott letting his older brother know how talented he is despite his inability to read.
    • Later, Scott lets Julia know that she's a wonderful person at the dance.


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