[Review] The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

If you didn’t enjoy reading this awesome book … you are a PIED NINNY. >:) It’s been a while since I read a simple book with a ‘feel good’ story, moving characters, witty humor & sarcasm, inspiring characters with some great twists and turns. It actually made me cry and laugh, and feel ashamed, and then laugh again, and feel melancholy and laugh again and feel sympathy and then laugh again. This book totally deserves a MOVIE. A great adaptation. I can totally imagine the scenes and the characters while reading it, as if I was actually watching it on the big screen. Moreover, if The Diary of a Wimpy Kid made it to the big screen, then this one totally deserves it!

Source: booksobsession.blogspot.com

Holling Hoodhood is one of the best protagonists I’ve come to know so far. Even better than Harry Potter. Although we have nothing in common and I couldn’t really relate to whatever he’s going through or what sort of emotions a 13-year-old like him could possibly harbor, I was able to relate to him… in a way. It’s like seeing another you. A different you. I sympathized with him. I understood every single emotion he had. I laughed and cried with him. I even felt humiliated for him when I thought about how horrifying those yellow tights with feathers on the — must’ve been… ^^ He was a fun character to read. No stupid mumbo jumbo, no hiding behind fake masks, no overflowing and exaggerated emotions – just a simple kid. My fave Holling moment would be the one with his sister – the whole Western Union and bus station thing. I didn’t realize I was already crying and laughing and smiling all at the same time.

I like Danny Hupfer too. He’s sort of like that annoying jerk in class who’d surprise you with his inner charm and kindness. I was so touched during that whole Mickey Mantle thing. The other characters are likeable and quite interesting too. It’s not like other books where the minor characters would either annoy you or bore you to death. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I like this book. You’ll get to know each character well without reading a whole chapter or at least a dozen pages about their boring and nonsensical lives. Each character, no matter how minor, has a story. Mr. Goldman and his light, fresh, brown cream puffs… Mr. Vendleri and his asbestos tiles… Mrs. Bigio and her Lunch Surprises… Doug and his 410 ways to annoy a teacher… Holling’s sister and her fight for civil rights and equality… Meryl Lee and her hidden affection for Holling… even Holling’s parents despite their being, well, so parent-ish. 😄 I’m telling you, I have never enjoyed all characters in one book this much!

I especially like the bits about Shakespeare and his works. How a 13-year-old boy like Holling analyzes it and gives his thoughts about it. Honestly, I’ve NEVER read a Shakespeare novel – NOT one single novel. I know. Lame, right? I just… I’ve never been a big fan of classic stuff with obsolete words and language that I probably won’t understand even if I tried. So I love how some of Shakespeare’s famous works were briefly discussed and summarized here. It was intricately mixed into each chapter and sprinkled with humor, wit and sarcasm here and there… so as not to make it draggy or boring. I never would’ve known anything about Caliban from The Tempest and his colorful curses. ^^

The story is set in the 1960s during the American-Vietnam War so there were some historical stuff here and there. But even that didn’t bore me at all. Important figures like Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were also important characters in the story.

I think the thing that I love the most here is how simple and creative the writing style is. It’s easy enough for a middle-schooler to understand, yet not too childish for, well, adults like me. ^^

I’m glad I started reading this novel. I’ll probably read the next one too – OKAY FOR NOW – in which Doug is the protagonist. And I will definitely enjoy it. Lastly, if you’re not amused with this wonderful novel… well, here’s what I gotta say: TOADS, BEETLES and BATS you PIED NINNY! ^__^

The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz

So I was reading this book and I’m almost halfway when I suddenly started imagining the Crown Prince of Japan (in this story) as INOO KEI of HSJ ~

 

I dunno why, I’m a Daiki fan… And my second fave is Yabu… but I’ve been seeing lots and lots of Inoo Kei on my dash so maybe that’s why… ~__~

The pacing of the story was REALLY slow since it has a very descriptive and detailed plot. The writer was a bit too verbose and at some point I was bored to death. But I get his point. He needs to establish each character, side story and setting first. He needs to let the reader know and understand the circumstances that led to the marriage between a commoner and Japan’s Crown Prince. It’s not some fairytale story where anything goes and everything is magic. I think most of the information provided were actual facts (maybe slightly distorted for creativity). Most events regarding the war and Japan’s history and tradition were of course true.

So the plot goes something like this. Haruko belongs to a middle class family. She’s the only child of a wealthy businessman. Despite her good background and education, she is still criticized and regarded as a ‘commoner’ when the young Crown Prince decided to choose her as his royal consort. It was just too sweet and kilig coz they only got acquainted through playing tennis (where Haruko mercilessly defeats him over and over). I think the Prince really likes her coz he was really persistent to marry her even after her family declined many times.

During these times, it is said that “a girl’s family was far more important than the girl herself.” 

I like Haruko’s family here. Especially her dad. They are not like those ambitious and conceited rich parents who are so obsessed in conformity with the society’s rules and standards. They are very realistic. They didn’t ‘sell’ their daughter even to the Crown Prince because they knew the consequences of the situation, with their family being considered as mere commoners. 😀 I actually like every word that comes out of Haruko’s dad’s mouth. He’s witty, full of sense and very hilarious without trying too hard.

There was a part when Haruko was a teenager and her mom was so obsessed with the Crown Prince and the Royal family. So she was blabbing on about how “the Prince has grown three centimeters over the summer alone”. Haruko’s dad answered with this.

Haruko’s dad: “By almost every account he’s a fine young man. I’m simply trying to figure out why I should care that he’s three centimeters taller than he was in May.”

And when Haruko’s mom got mad at him for being disrespectful to the Prince, he said “Better to be impossible than measured in centimeters!”

When he was asked by the nosy reporters about random facts about Haruko, his reply was this: “Can she cook? Why certainly, I said, she can cook seaweed. If you like seaweed then she’s your girl. Can she write beautiful prose? Of course not, she’s a terrible writer just like her father. Can she count? Only when she’s spending my money, I told them, which she does very well indeed. Well, what are her good qualities, they wanted to know. Good qualities? Hmmm. I said give me a few days, I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with something.”

He’s very honest and he doesn’t take bullsh*t from anyone. He never conceals his daughter’s (or anyone else’s, for that matter) bad side. He believes in his daughter and his family. And most important of all, he sets his own policies and he goes by it. 😀 I just love this character. I hope he stays to the end.

Now back to INOO KEI~~~ errmm, I mean, the Crown Prince 😀

I can’t stop imagining this kid as the Crown Prince now  -,- Kill me now. Haha. I hope they make a movie adaptation of this so that my desires and overactive imagination can be fulfilled. Muahaha.

Well, I’m not yet done reading it. I think Haruko really like the Prince too but it’s still awkward between them. They talked on the phone for like hours and the Prince was just too shy and awkward! Haha! It was too cute. I can so imagine that scene. After the phone call Haruko only remembered saying a lot of “YES” to him, without fully understanding anything they talked about. 😀

So I’m looking forward to the budding romance between them and how they’re going to cope with their unimaginable ‘married life’ and overcome the awkward relationship under the public eye. And of course, there’s the fact that the commoner Haruko needs to learn the culture, tradition and rules that she must abide with inside the palace. Kinda reminds me of the Korean dramaGOONG~ 😀