After all the seriousness on Book Bloggy Blogg lately, I thought I’d lighten the mood with a nice kid’s book review.
I promise to post Part II of my responses to the Pajiba post soon!
But for now: on to the review!!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When JN gave me this book to read, he gushed, “Miss Jeena, this one’s the funniest one! I think you’ll really like it!”
Well, far be it from me to question my favorite young reader. I took the book and read it the very next day.
And you know what? He was right.
The latest installment in the saga of Greg Heffley covers his summer vacation. Author Jeff Kinney covers a lot of familiar ground for readers of books about summer vacation: summer jobs, boredom, trips — and, of course, fights.
When I was a kid, I fought with my siblings multiple times a day. Not a day went by that we didn’t fight. We were latchkey kids, so there was never anyone around to stop us. We would take turns fighting with each other and taking sides in others’ quarrels.
That’s why I (and most of mankind, probably) could appreciate Kinney’s hilarious depictions of Greg’s fights with his brothers, his best friend, and his father, amongst others. As opposed to his gimmicky use of outrageous situations in the last book, Kinney goes back to the roots of the series by focusing instead on the seemingly mundane moments that make up an adolescence.
My favorite thing by far in this installment was Kinney’s treatment of Greg’s relationship with his father. Like my own father (and, I suspect, the author’s), Mr. Heffley isn’t given to displays of affection. He shows his love by pushing his children to be better than they are. He gets angry when they fail to meet his expectations. There are times when the children of such a man wonder whether or not he’d jump at the chance to sell them to the highest bidder or abandon them at a baseball game.
But the strength of their relationship comes through in little moments of truce. Greg and his dad both hate this lame comic strip in the paper. As they sit at the breakfast table and complain about how stupid it is, it’s clear that Greg enjoys sharing the same opinion as his father, and that his father is secretly proud to have a son who isn’t fool enough to be taken in by idiotic dreck like Li’l Cutie.
Now, this is more like the series that pleasantly surprised me. Kinney, you got me again.