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JessicaRobyn

Reading Robyn

I am a lover of libraries, a reader of everything, a girl easily swayed by pretty pictures, and overall just your average, nerdy fairy princess.

 

2013 is the year I'm finally keeping up a regular reading blog Reading Robyn! There I post extended versions of my GR reviews so be sure to check that out!

 

I always seem to be on the move having lived in seven cities and counting in my nineteen years. I'm not on the run from the law as many have assumed (at least I don't think so), but moving around has given me an appreciation for how places make stories and people make memories. While change is inevitable, books are the friends that I take with me from place to place. They comforted me when I was sick, they push me to continue to learn and grow into myself, and most importantly they opened me up to the possibilities of living in thousands of places all at once.

 

I primarily read YA fiction, as well as a lot of graphic novels and manga. However, I tend to be this combination of odd reads, so expect the unexpected!

 

Cheesy Life Quote: "In this world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself." - Frantz Fanon

Happyface - Stephen Emond Turn those frowns upside down, and remember to just keep swimming, I mean smiling! I was first attracted to Happyface when I saw the bright yellow cover calling my name from the library shelf. I was like a moth to a smiling, yellow flame. When I opened it up to take a peak inside, I was rather surprised. The journal format is nothing new when it comes to a coming-of-age Young Adult novel but Happyface takes this format to an entirely new level, as our main character Happyface expresses his life in both art and text. Through sketches, cartoons, comic strips, and illustrations in various styles, Happyface tells a multi-medium story. This adds to the book in a way that it would just not be complete without it.The font used throughout the journal for all of the text is something that takes a little getting used to. It's a little much when looking at a full page of this font, but paired along with the art and empty space it's pretty readable.Now, our main character, nicknamed Happyface, is going through some major life changes. New town, new school, family issues, girl issues, I-Am-So-Lonely issues but decides with this new start he's going to start a project. The Happyface project, to just keep smiling, to improve himself, and to distract himself from his ever mounting personal problems by finally getting out there and making some friends, and maybe even getting a girlfriend. Oh, Happyface, how to mend a broken heart. There is a pretty wide range of characters, mainly focusing on the new friends Happyface meets at his new school. And right off the bat he has entered into a group of friends when he connects with Gretchen, the pretty, unattainable girl who quickly takes center stage. For the former outsider, Happyface is trying his best to adjust to his new postion. Throughout all of his changes, Happyface's writing feels very genuine. His problems are real, and he's trying his best to become someone, even if it's someone he isn't.The book was pretty strong for me, a solid three stars, but I had some problems with the climax and resolution. It was handled decently but I had issues with the sudden changes in the characterization of the secondary characters, the weak conclusion, and the way that the possibility for a deeper message was kind of skimmed over. Still, this is definitely something I would recommend, especially for male readers. It's rare to find a solid high-school story told from a male point of view that doesn't pander to it's audience. Overall, I really enjoyed the characters, the art, and the way the high-school experience is portrayed.Hop over to my blog post on Reading Robyn for a look at some examples of the art inside the book.