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Strasser has stated that he is concerned that there are few books dealing with romance from the male point of view. In Workin' for Peanuts, he attempts to rectify this situation by using a male narrator. Strasser explores the effects of social class and money on romance, as well as the importance of acting on one's beliefs, through the actions of Jeff Mead, a likeable teenage protagonist who is unsure of who he is or what he wants to be. Strasser shows Jeff's gradual maturation as he eventually decides to do something with his life. The background setting, a baseball stadium, is presented in a believable manner and serves as a contrast to the wealthy world of Stottswood, the estate of one of Jeff's employers.

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