The 5 stars are for Curt. He is a fascinating and complicated character. I really appreciate that a drug addict/criminal character is written so complexly. He isn't just a semi-homeless drug addict, he's also a punk rock god, a friend, and a realistic human. He's not a "bad guy" or a cautionary tale. The author just let him be himself. That's awesome.
The book's narrator, seventeen-year-old Troy, is a self-conscious fat kid. He meets semi-homeless Curt while trying to come up with an un-funny way to commit suicide. Curt immediately decides that Troy will be the drummer in a new punk rock band, even though Troy doesn't know how to play the drums.
The book is very well-written and has some funny moments. The characters behave like realistic teens and twenty-somethings. The plot is a little slow, and Troy is not as complex or interesting as Curt, but Curt more than makes up for all of that. The book is worth reading just for him.