**spoiler alert** This book started out good. It was fast and witty and I found myself liking Rafe... for about 40 pages.
After he decides to break the...more**spoiler alert** This book started out good. It was fast and witty and I found myself liking Rafe... for about 40 pages.
After he decides to break the rules I'm like, cool, this is going to actually be different, not just a middle schooler trying to fit in. It's going to be awesome and covert, he's gonna have to come up with smart ways to break these rules and not get caught. It's gonna be sweet.
Rafe is an idiot. He thinks he's a good guy. When he broke the first rule it was cool... but you gotta realize that's still bad. You can like bad characters. They're fun, witty, and just interesting. So I figured he would be a "bad boy" character... only he doesn't see himself that way. He sees himself as some victim of the rules, some person who the rule-makers personally want to hurt. What? Where did that come from?
Random spoilers from here on.
His friend, Leo, is the only likable character. He knows what they're doing is wrong. But he doesn't try to hide that. I liked him... and then he got an interesting twist. He's Rafe's imaginary friend.
So... you have an imaginary friend... but he has different values than you? Huh? And then he says how Leo is interesting, always comes up with things he would never think of, is his only friend... wow, Rafe is an idiot.
Then about half way through the book, he gets a smack in the face. He's failing middle school. Oh no! How could this happen? Wait... maybe because he's been trying to get in trouble and not giving a crap about his grades all year? But no, it must be something else.
Rafe decides to be good. He feels bad that he's giving his mom a hard time- hello! Did ya really think you're mom would think it's awesome that you're a freakin' brat in school? His stupid mom who needs a review all by herself at how stupid she is; she stays with a guy who abuses her kids and she can't even stand, who's a totally unbelievable character. Seriously. He would do things and I'm like, really? Did that really just happen? Rafe's mom is a moron.
But anyway, back to Rafe. He's good for about two months. His grades still suck. He still gets in trouble because of his rep. So everyone must be picking on him, right? I mean, he randomly was a brat and troublemaker, but he's been good for two months, so everyone should bow down to him and love him now, right? Oh, wait, this is reality and everyone doesn't do what you want? Well, I guess it's time for him to get into trouble again, since his two freakin' months of being good didn't help any. Like, is he really that stupid? He thinks two months will take away all his problems? What an idiot.
The one kid that was awesome, though, was Miller, who's supposed to be the "bad guy" of the story. Even though he was the only likable character. He was a bully, but he knew it. He knew what he was doing and that it was wrong and he didn't pretend otherwise. He kept Rafe's notebook and blackmailed him; Rafe had to buy each page for a dollar. Go, Miller!
But then the end came. The horrifying, ugly, despicable, hateful end. Rafe gets expelled for drawing all over a school wall. Finally the kid has to pay for something! And I'm talking really get in trouble, not these sissy detentions.
But wait... oh, never mind. Sure, he got expelled... and then he gets rewarded! Can you believe that? He gets rewarded for being the school troublemaker! He gets sent to his special art school. So... let's get this straight. For the whole year(minus two months) this kid has been a brat, has broken the rules - and not only broken the rules, but tried to break them all - and you're going to say, "Bad kid! That wasn't very nice of you. Want to have a scholarship to this cool art school and never be bored in school again?" WHAT?!
This book... wow. SO. AWFUL.
P.S. Something I forgot to mention. Rafe? A male version of Maximum Ride.(less)
In this book we see Bessica get in a "text war" with her "best friend," Sylvie, buy said best friend a nose hair trimmer for her birthday, continuously ignore her parents and grandma and make rude comments, see things only her way, and have an epic face-to-face with T.J. the Tiger. In short, this is about a little girl who was raised to care only about herself and therefore and no consideration whatsoever for other people's feelings. Throughout the entire book all I read was, "I thought that was stupid," or "I didn't want to talk about that, so I asked a different question," or general things along those lines. If Bessica thought it was dumb, she said so, not caring who she hurt. If Bessica didn't want to talk about something, she would completely ignore the question and ask another one. But the worst part is that her parents let her get away with it. I get the feeling they try to treat her like an adult, but it backfires on them majorly.
Maybe one of the worst things is Bessica's attitude towards Willy. She hates him for taking her grandma away, and like usual, cares nothing about her grandma's own happiness. I understand she's a little girl and immaturity is accepted and expected, but she goes above and beyond any girl her age should. When a kid acts stupid, you're supposed to try to correct them. That's kind of the point of parents, I'd say; to raise your kid. But I guess Bessica's parents just want to have a little devil.(less)
**spoiler alert** As much as I hated the first book, I think this one was almost as bad.
In this book, Rafe tries to do what's right. For about less th...more**spoiler alert** As much as I hated the first book, I think this one was almost as bad.
In this book, Rafe tries to do what's right. For about less than half the book. After that he pretty much throws it all out the window. The first "friend" he makes at his new school, Matty, is a troublemaker who helps him get back at some bullies. Why Rafe, didn't you get expelled from school last year for getting in trouble? Shouldn't you not keep breaking the rules, then? This is what was going through my mind, but apparently Rafe doesn't care if he gets kicked out of this art school that he so badly wanted to get in.
And then there's the whole mess with his father. Why, oh why, did this happen? There was this whole storyline about his father being gone, but no one knows where he went. So throughout the book it's been kind of a side story to find his dad. After a humiliating situation at school, his mom finally tells him what really happened.
And takes him to a cemetery.
A cemetery!? At the end of the chapter where his mom takes him there's a part something along the lines of, "You already guessed it, probably. A cemetery." No, I didn't guess that. I didn't guess that your mother would be such a horrible woman that she would tell her son that his dad left them and making him seem like an awful person instead of telling him that he died saving his country. There's no point! Rafe even says himself that now he thinks better of his dad. That he's not just the guy who left, but the guy who was a hero. It was completely pointless and stupid.
The ultimate ending was pretty much the same as the first - his mom has a job, they live in Hills Valley, Rafe has to go to Summer School, and he's going to be entering his precious art school that is for some reason so much better than the one he's at. So in ways this book was better than the first, but considering how nothing changed, it may have been worse.(less)