Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happyface by Stephen Emond

HappyfaceHappyface by Stephen Emond
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hated this so much that I even wrote a list on the things I hated about it so I wouldn't forget. Let's see, let's see-ah. Happyface was whiny, confusing, with unrealistic and unrelatable characters, a weird format, not exactly as funny as it probably wanted to be, sloppy ending-shall I go on? The only reason I'm not giving it zero stars is, because, well, I don't give zero stars. The author must have a .1 percent potential for getting published or something, right?

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.-Goodreads

There was something appealing, at first, about Happyface. Create a story about a guy who reinvents himself as he moves to a new school, slap in some art, and I have basically fallen in love. But, like a pizza guy who shows up to your house empty-handed, you can get a little disappointed. More like wanting-to-throw-the-book-across-the-room-and-scream disappointed. Not that I had Happyface in my hands all that often to do that. This is a book that feels almost as heavy as War and Peace.

A good thing that came out of this very long experience, however, were the new ideas I experienced. Seriously, though-I had heard of whiny girls (New Moon? Bella?) But never whiny guys.  Halfway through, and Happyface was already grating along my eardrums. How long can you complain about your mother before you realize that you may have actually been in the wrong? Forever, it seems like. I can start to understand Gretchen's choicy word of "staulker."

If I had to choose one word to describe Happyface, it'd be sloppy. Really and truly. It held such promise, but that kind of dissipated once I got past page one. The plot was slow and confusing, the characters paradoxial (is that a word?) and overall, made me feel like a loser when I finished it.

There might be some love in my heart left for Emond's Wintertown, which shows a bit more potential than his Happyface. But you will have to convince me real hard.

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