Friday, March 4, 2011

Happyface by Stephen Emond

Book Jacket

Yes, I'm the cool guy.  The big shot.  The one girls geek out to.  That's me.  Happyface.

Cute girls dig him.  He has his own fan club.

But he wasn't always this awesome.  He used to be Mr. Comic Book, a resident of Lonelyland.  So when he switched schools, he slapped on a grin and went from big nerd to big shot.

Has he achieved permanent coolness?  Or will his inner dork return?

Meet Happyface.  This is his journal.


I guess you could say this is the grownup version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, if by "grownup" you mean "aweome, and far superior."  The brilliance of having the protagonist's name always remain Happyface, combined with the fact that all of his self-portraits are of a simple happy face, allows the reader to put themselves in his shoes.  By making himself a nobody, he can be anybody.

I happen to be a fan of books written as journals (if they do it well).  And Happyface takes this style to a whole different level.  Normally it is very hard to pull off story twists or surprises, since the person writing the book is letting you into their head.  But Happyface manages to pull off not one, but two huge plot twists, simply because Happyface didn't deign to tell us about it.  So good.

The cartoons and sketches that litter each page add extra depth and emotion to his story.  And what a story it is--parents fighting, sibling jealousy, girl confusion, identity crises--poor Happyface made me laugh and nearly cry.  And that is the mark of a truly excellent book, according to me.

Five out of five cartoon caricatures.

Release Date:  March 2010
Reading Level:  Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  YPL EDM

Don't believe me?  Check out these reviews of Happyface:

The Literary Wife
The Brain Lair

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking to my review. This was a different yet excellent book!