Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happyface by Stephen Emond

Amazon Description: "Just put on a happy face!

Enter Happyface's journal and get a peek into the life of a shy, artistic boy who decides to reinvent himself as a happy-go-lucky guy after he moves to a new town. See the world through his hilariously self-deprecating eyes as he learns to shed his comic-book-loving, computer-game playing ways. Join him as he makes new friends, tries to hide from his past, and ultimately learns to face the world with a genuine smile. With a fresh and funny combination of text and fully integrated art, Happyface is an original storytelling experience."

My Review: I really, really liked Happyface. I see it as a mix of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (another awesome book) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid---for teenagers, of course. And what REALLY drew me in was the unpredictable and unreliable way the main character narrated. Usually diaries are all, "Dear Diary, today _____" and so on and so forth. But Happyface's diary was more realistic---he didn't talk about everything that happened in his life and while he drew things that connected to the story, he also drew random sketches and things by the side. As an artist myself, I totally get that. Happyface's journal is more like a scrapbook, in where the puzzle that is his life is put together in a more subtle way than just him TELLING us what happens. The story itself was really interesting as well. I felt a whole range of emotions for Happyface---pity and sorrow, and also sometimes irritation. It was very interesting to see him go from shy kid to popular kid to train wreck to--- oops, guess you'll have to read it and see! Anyway...seeing him grow as a person and go through a ton of issues a lot of teens deal with was really interesting, and the drawings only made the book cooler. This is a book that guys could EASILY like, although girls would love it too (as I did).

Cover: It's awesome. End of story. The paperback version comes with two covers---a happy face and a sad face---and whatever one you get is the one you get. But the hardcover is cooler: the slip-case is only on the mouth, and it's a smile...but when you take the slipcase off, there's a frown underneath! (There should be some symbolism in that, right, English teachers?) Anyway, the cover is plain CUTE.

Overall Grade: A+

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