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King Dork #2

King Dork Approximately

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From Frank Portman comes the long-awaited sequel to the beloved cult classic King Dork , of which John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars , said, “Basically, if you are a human being with even a vague grasp of the English language, King Dork will rock your world.”
   Aside from the stitches and the head wound, Tom Henderson is the same old King Dork. He's still trying to work out who to blame for the new scar on his forehead, the memory loss, and his father's mysterious death. But illicit female hospital visitations, The Catcher in the Rye , and the Hillmont High sex-pocalypse have made him a new man.
   What doesn't make you stronger can kill you, though, and tenth grade, act two, promises to be a killer. Tom's down one bloodstained army coat, one Little Big Tom, and two secret semi-imaginary girlfriends. Now his most deeply held beliefs about alphabetical-order friendship, recycling, school spirit, girls, rock and roll, the stitching on jeans, the Catcher Code, and the structure of the universe are about to explode in his face. If only a female robot's notes could solve the world's problems, he'd have a chance. But how likely is that?
   King Dork Approximately --it feels like the first time. Like the very first time.

Praise for King Dork Approximately :

“A hilarious peek into the male adolescent mind . . . [and] inside this sarcastic teen is the soul of a poet who makes this comedic tale a refreshingly insightful read.”— VOYA
“Utterly enjoyable, this book’s culture-meets-romantic-confusion focus makes it a teen take on Nick Hornby's High Fidelity .”— Booklist
“Tom’s irreverent voice and sharply observed, deeply funny insights about
public education and the teen social order carry the story.”— Publishers Weekly
“ Portman has crafted a perceptive protagonist, whose brilliantly wry observations will keep readers laughing and whose voice is infused with an all-too-believable mix of innocence and cynicism.”— School Library Journal
“ King Dork Approximately is a smart and sardonic sequel, a book for all ages."— Largeheartedboy.com
“Whether you're male or female, old or young, these two books will put into words feelings that you've always struggled first to express and then to repress."— Reason.com
“Sarcastic and funny, but it’s also super smart and insightful about the lives of teenagers.”— Bustle.com

384 pages, Hardcover

First published December 9, 2014

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About the author

Frank Portman

5 books166 followers
I write books and songs. Books: King Dork, Andromeda Klein, and t King Dork Approximately.

***The paperback edition of King Dork Approximately is out now, and includes a free download of the accompanying King Dork Approximately the Album. Basically if you want the book it comes with a free album and if you want the album it comes with a free book.***

Behold, my web presence: frankportman.com
doktorfrank.com (blog)
Sounds Radical webstore: http://www.soundsradical.com/store/c1...

Sensitive soul, American dude, noize feeler.

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5 stars
126 (22%)
4 stars
189 (34%)
3 stars
172 (31%)
2 stars
51 (9%)
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12 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 106 reviews
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
August 30, 2015

This book was definitely a case of “It's not you it's me”. I liked the writing and found the narration to be pretty authentic sounding. While this is YA, to me it is on the younger side of YA, which is not a bad thing but I just found that I couldn't connect.

I think I may just be more picky when it comes to male narration, and being in the mind of a wacky fifteen year old boy is apparently not for me. I do think that boys ages 13-16 would love this though.

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brendan.
Author 20 books171 followers
November 14, 2014
There are not enough stars.

You know, there are some books you read and like, and there are others you read and love, and there are still others that peer into your soul and ramone you, but in a good way. So, yeah, this is that third kind for me.

I attracted many stares while reading this and laughing on public transportation.

My advice: if you haven't read King Dork, punch yourself somewhere painful for your folly and go read that, and then this. And thank Satan that you don't have to wait eight years for the sequel.

If you have read King Dork, go get this book immediately. Food and shelter are secondary and tertiary priorities.
November 9, 2014
ARC courtesy of Net Galley and Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review

Bell, Book & Candle | King Dork Approximately Review

I have always like coming of age tales, but this wasn't my favorite. I didn't read the book before it (this is a sequel) so maybe that makes a difference. I felt like any hope for teenagers in the story remains to be seen. It had too much melancholy, although that might be the desired effect.

When you say "I want to fit in," you are essentially volunteering yourself as a victim, and when the thing you want to fit in with is "society" --well, as "society" is just another word for the government, you're basically begging the government to control you and use you as it wishes for its nefarious purposes, which can be pretty damn nefarious, if "nefarious" mean what I believe it means.

I think Tom had a strong voice for a protagonist, and I even enjoyed his humor. I would have liked to see him have one moment where he stood up for himself and didn't take any crap. Maybe that's too much to ask or maybe it unrealistic to some people. But I happen to disagree; I was bullied very badly when I was a kid, but there was a moment when I just stopped being a doormat and took a stand. If I can do it, others can as well. Seeing Tom, the POV character, have just one moment can give the rest of us hope, but unfortunately it wasn't really there.

Toms parents were infuriating as well. As mentioned before, I didn't read the first book so I'm not sure what happened exactly, but if he really was attacked by his schoolmates, why wouldn't you sue or at the very least press charges? They nearly killed him. I, myself, am a believer in Karma but the author doesn't seem to know much about it.

My biggest complaint would be: dialogue. There wasn't enough dialogue from the characters. I found myself skipping to getting the dialogue because I was becoming bored with reading Toms inner thoughts. The pacing was slow and I feel like the climax could have been reached 50 pages earlier. The writing was good, but everything else was a depressing drag.
December 16, 2014
In King Dork Approximately, author Frank Portman managed the not easy feat of writing a book that was better than King Dork, which was, until now, the best YA novel I had ever read. The characters are so well-rendered and seemingly familiar you almost forget that it wasn't a very smart teenager who wrote the book. The sense of humor that pervades the story really is in a category of its own. Portman sticks to smaller, subtler jokes that will have you chuckling quietly to yourself throughout the entire book, though every so often he rewards his audience with a big joke that will have you rolling on the floor. I've noticed that people are touchy (pun intended) about the subject of sex when it comes to YA books, but, the thing is, you have to write about the sex because it's something teenagers think a lot about and something that they do. It's wrong to ignore or gloss over it. I think Portman's treatment of sex in King Dork Approximately is honest. These are teenagers he's dealing with, and he doesn't endow any of his characters with an unrealistic amount of sexual confidence or understanding that isn't characteristic of people that age. In one scene in particular, it's clear that the 'sex' is rather awkward, which corresponds exactly with reality. Sex can be awkward for teenagers, or for anybody. Sex is a weird activity if you think about it. Anyhow, that's about all I can say about King Dork Approximately at this time. Buy it. Read it. You won't regret it.

Profile Image for Michael.
1,231 reviews115 followers
January 14, 2015
Having survived the events of King Dork, Tom Henderson returns to take on the second half of tenth grade. And while he's had the momentous event of doing "it" with a girl, Tom quickly finds that not a lot has changed in his world. He's recovering from his wounds suffered at the hands of a tube-wielding mob, his band still stinks and can't decide on a name and he's headed to a new school since his last is being shut down due to not meeting state requirements.

If it all sounds a bit absurd and crazy, you're right. And yet in all of this teenage angst, Frank Portman manages to pull off one of the better tricks in recent memory -- making a sequel that is in every as good, if not better than the original. King Dork Approximately finds Tom facing a changing world and looks at how he tries to adapt to it.

What sets the book apart from a lot of the young adult fiction out there is Tom himself. His talking about records (he and his buddy Sam Hellerman will only listen to vinyl) by their release code is fascinating and creates an interesting guessing game within the novel to figure out which band and releases he's talking about. (Portman includes a glossary in the end, which I didn't stumble across until I'd finished the story, but I did find it useful to have Google on stand-by). There's also Tom's obsession with the death of his father and a stack of books left behind. Tom's attempt to find some meaning or to find the meaning his father did in those books was a major driving force in the original and it's good to see it continue here. Tom's take on certain giants of the literary world is intriguing and one of the highlights of the book.

If you've read the original, odds are you're going to want to read this one. If you haven't read the original -- go, go and read it now. Then come back to this one and enjoy two of the more satisfying novels on the market today.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shannon.
129 reviews10 followers
December 9, 2014
For how much I loved King Dork when I read it 8 years ago, this sequel is equally and painfully awful. It takes place immediately following the events in the first book, so if you're not recently aquainted, you'll be lost.

Then there's no plot to speak of. None. Remember how Y2K was a complete non-event in real life? So it's pretty odd to immortalize it in a teen novel, when not a single teen today was old enough to remember how anticlimactic it was. I have tried to explain Y2K to teens. It is something they cannot even wrap their heads around, because it seems so stupid. And the major plot of King Dork is undone by a revelation in this sequel. Not only did I not enjoy the sequel, the author has astoundingly undone my enjoyment of the first book! Well and truly idiotic move there.

Then the main character tries to glean insight into girls, bullying and how to be a King Dork from Revenge of the Nerds. Oh yeah, I remember that movie from the 80s when it was a crassly funny college buddy film. But my adult critical thinking 2014 brain now remembers it as the movie where the hero nerd rapes a girl, which makes her fall in love with him. This is not mentioned by Frank Portman. But by spending a chapter on Revenge of the Nerds, the book invites 2014 teens to seek out and watch this piece of shit film that celebrates rape culture and needs to stay buried in the past.

Let me paraphrase Tom's view of Naked Lunch with my view of King Dork Approximately:
"I defy anyone to say what it's about. It starts with a sexist guy recovering from a vicious bullying attack, I think. Beyond that, I really couldn't tell you, and since there's no story in there, at all, it's hard to see the point of someone's having written it. Or of reading it. You know, it really seems like all those 80s and 90s people were just so proud of all their sexism that every single one of them felt like he had to write at least one incoherent book to demonstrate it, or prove it, or celebrate it. This was one of those."

So my point is if you're going to write a sequel, maybe don't wait 8 years to do it, because you've lost your audience. But if you've already made that mistake, maybe consider that in the last 8 years the social climate has changed drastically, and make an effort to recognize that in your plot or your character development.
Profile Image for Clint.
2 reviews
January 10, 2015
This is a kinda-sorta-somewhat-semi-maddening read, though I really did like it quite a lot.

The maddening-ness lies in how the characters (and situations they find themselves in) are...too realistic, I suppose. They're petty, selfish, unpredictable, self-contradictory, self-medicated, conniving, and mostly just treading water until something comes along that drags them out of their stupor (which mostly never happens). They're pretty much like everyone you know.

Most of the what happens in the novel happens like it does in real life: you think something big is coming, and nothing comes of it. Here's the big spoiler: early in the novel, Tom mentions that Mr. Teone (the villain of Approximately's predecessor) is still out there, having never been caught by the police. "That worries me," Tom confides. "Oooh," you think, as a reader, "Mr. Teone's gonna show up and..." And nothing. He never even has a (devil head) cameo.

So it's a maddening read because it hits the nail on the head a little too smartly. Things happen, but they're never as huge as you think they're going to be. Just like being alive, I guess.

I had one minor issue with the prose, but it wasn't a deal-breaker: Frank Portman loves him some P.G. Wodehouse, so much so that Tom's narration dips heavily into the Bertie Wooster...cow creamer, I suppose is the appropriate dipping-into vessel in this case. The narrative asides (if "asides" is the word I'm thinking of) can become distracting, as can the use of initials when the narrator is repeating a phrase (although if you're going to r. the occasional p., it is efficient). However, it jarred me out of the story several times because I kept thinking of Wodehouse.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sarah.
29 reviews4 followers
March 18, 2019
If you liked King Dork but thought you'd enjoy it more if Tom and Sam had been libertarian pick-up artists*, then this is the book for you. It's too bad, because Portman gets a lot else right about adolescence, like the way parents (especially Boomer parents) have of swinging between being completely oblivious to really blatant signs of emotional distress in their children; then jumping to bizarrely incorrect conclusions based on very flimsy evidence**.

*I'd like to shrug this off as just Portman's way of showing what ignorant pigs teenaged boys can be, but we were friends on Faceboook for about a year and... never become social media friends with artists you admire, kids. It can only end in tears.

**I'll never forget the time my mother found an article about local gangs I'd cut out of the paper and saved, and assumed I wanted to join a gang--all of which were organized along ethnic lines I did not belong to--based on the fact that I wore black clothes and listened to bands whose singers had committed suicide. If memory serves, she came across this while "cleaning". This was an excuse that was 100% bullshit 100% of the time it was used. My brothers and I were responsible from a very young age for cleaning not only our own rooms, but the bathrooms, the common areas, the kitchen after dinner, and doing our own laundry. Oh, and if we wanted to eat breakfast, we had to make it ourselves.
3 reviews1 follower
December 15, 2014
Rarely does a subsequent work outdo the original, however, this sequel to King Dork - "King Dork Approximately" - is one of those notable exceptions. Besides maintaining the humor prevalent in 2006's King Dork, KDA engages in some very rich character development that ended up making this book all the more stronger. I cannot recommend this book enough. There's a very short list of books that I've read in one sitting, this being one of them.
Profile Image for Jeniece Goellner.
254 reviews14 followers
August 19, 2016
I enjoyed the 2nd much more than the 1st. Finally felt like there was growth in the characters we got introduced to in the first novel. Found the progression realistic to teenage life and enjoyed the narrator's voice more this time around.
Profile Image for Emily Matview.
Author 10 books24 followers
October 14, 2016
Like its predecessor, “King Dork Approximately” is a period piece set in the early 2000s.

Even my reference is old.

This book picks up where the last ended off, with Tom Henderson, our resident King Dork, as cynical as ever. Tom still doesn’t get along with hippie stepfather Big Tom. He still despises “The Catcher in the Rye” despite being a modern day take on Holden Caulfield. He still rocks out with best bud Sam Hellerman, with a band whose name continues to evolve, including Tennis with Guitars, Encyclopedia Satanica and I Hate this Jar.

But then Tom, the quintessential teenage loner, finds his circle of friends drops from 1 – Sam – to none. After Hillmont High’s abrupt closure, the two misanthropic buddies and bandmates are stationed at different schools. Who will Tom start bands with or hate on the “normal” with? Who else will be a hipster before hipsters were a thing with him, hating CDs, loving vinyl and referring to albums by their catalog number instead of titles?

Things aren’t all bad, though. Tom actually makes friends at his new school! He has a girlfriend and is attending prom! It’s a whole new Tom. Well…

“When you say 'I want to fit in,' you are essentially volunteering yourself as a victim, and when the thing you want to fit in with is 'society' - well, as 'society' is just another word for government, you're basically begging the government to control you and use you as it wishes for its nefarious purposes, which can be pretty damn nefarious, if 'nefarious' means what I believe it does.”

Alright, there’s that Tom we know and love.

The first “King Dork” had that great mystery plot. The sequel is more slice of life, so your enjoyment relies more on whether or not you find these characters fun to spend time with. But if you share Portman’s sense of humor and love of music, you’ll have a great time with this installment.

For me, Tom and Sam are basically every friend I had in high school, so this book is the closest thing I have to time travel without a Flux Capacitor.
time travel

But let’s be honest here – the best part about this book? It got the Mister T Experience back together! Writer Frank Portman reunited his pop punk group to record their first album in 12 years, and it’s available now as a free download when you purchase the book.

PS: Read my interview with Frank Portman on PunksInVegas.com!

kit: Twitter | Tumblr
Profile Image for Brenda.
1,516 reviews67 followers
August 13, 2014
Let me start off by saying I did not read the first book. I got this at San Diego Comic Con, and since it was free and they told me it was good I took it. I have read it, and they were right. It is good. Good enough that I'll regift it instead of putting it in the library pile, but that's about all it gets.

The writing is very repetitive, which thankfully tapers off a little bit but still stays repetitive. I get that it's written in Thomas' voice, but apparently all Thomas likes to do is say how the universe is out to get him and that maybe a word means what he thinks it means. There were parts of the book that I didn't really understand the need for. Like, apparently Thomas was attacked with a tuba? Because a vice principal wanted him dead? I realize the vice principal thing is probably a figment of his imagination, but since I haven't read the first book I couldn't make heads or tails of why the hell he was bashed upside the head with a tuba. The only thing I can think of is just basic bullying, but the fact that I had to guess something so basic seemed kind of silly to me.

It just sort of felt like a meandering story. There really wasn't any sort of build up or tension or anything, and I guess the band show could be the climax? But the way it's written it didn't seem like a big deal, just another "oops" situation Thomas puts himself in.

That isn't to say that it wasn't enjoyable, though. It was funny in that kind of stupid way where you know everything in the book is a hyperbole so you kind of just let it slide. I wasn't expecting to actually get any real life, profound thinking out of this book, and I was right. It's fun, and briefly touches on important issues like self-harming and suicide, then meanders along again. So overall not a bad book, but not necessarily a good one either.
Profile Image for Mrs. Kenyon.
1,254 reviews25 followers
November 28, 2014
Tom Henderson has survived tenth grade, act one. It is now time to begin tenth grade, act two, and life is still completely unstable for King Dork. Tom had to give up his army coat since it was saturated in blood; Little Big Tom has been guilted out of the home and his imaginary girlfriends are nowhere around. He has just found out that after the winter break his school will be shut down and he will be separated from his alphabetical-order best friend who will go to a different school. This new school actually expects students to do work and bullying is not done as openly. Will the Catcher Code work in this new environment? Can the female robot’s notes help him in his next relationship?

King Dork Approximately is the second book in the King Dork series. Even for a sequel published eight years after the first book, readers should have no trouble remembering the events of the first book due to the non-stop ramblings of the narrator. This book is a tongue in cheek story told by a goofy teen boy. Readers should not go into this book expecting anything serious and definitely not for any life changing truths. King Dork Approximately is a fun escape read that will keep the reader turning pages until the end.
Profile Image for Dave.
418 reviews6 followers
April 27, 2015
Frank Portman, you amuse me. Like a freaking clown. Tom Henderson (a.k.a. "King Dork", which is self-designated btw) returns in another zany fumble through high school-o-rama. More lusting after the ladies. More internal monologues highlighted by an entire section on the golden stitching of your denim Levis and the supposed phallic shape they just happen to unfold in, if phallic means what I think it does and I'm pretty sure it does. Another step in the stages of adolescence, this time--GASP--Tom finds himself on the cusp of sexual frontiers with an actual female and has to grapple with the conflict of the physical pleasure versus the sheer annoyance of his psycho girlfriend's personality. To witness the balancing act that Henderson has to manage, between watching his mom's second marriage disintegrate for reasons beyond him, listening to strange advice from his estranged step-dad, changing schools after his high school suddenly announces its closure and having to attend a different one than his best friend, there is no shortage of Ritalin needs here. Would definitely read another one as well. Thank you to NetGalley for extending an advanced copy for perusal for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dan.
94 reviews
June 4, 2015
Picks up just a few months after the last book ended and is the further adventures of King Dork, himself. This is both a good and bad thing. I loved the first book, so being able to revisit these characters was something I looked forward to. However, either due to my reading habits or the intervening time in the real-world between the two books coming out, I couldn't entirely remember what happened in the first book and Portman doesn't fill-in the blanks too much. About halfway through the book, this becomes a non-issue as new events arise, but the first section of the book is very much reconciling the events at the end of the last book. This was somewhat frustrating to me. Just the slightest bit more of a recap (I suppose there is a tiny bit) would have really helped jog my memory.

Again it is a good thing I really enjoyed the first book because the second book is pretty much more of the same. As such, it is faced with the law of diminishing returns. Some of the stuff just isn't as funny or exciting the second time through.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,318 reviews41 followers
June 12, 2014
King Dork was one of my favorite YA novels for a long time, but I think I'm a very different person now than I was when I first read it. I enthusiastically jumped at the chance to read the sequel early, offered in an exclusive manuscript form at Midwinter 2014. I knew I had some time before its release date, so I didn't pick it up until recently. From the first chapter, I could tell I wasn't going to enjoy the sequel as much as the original. I've grown up quite a lot in the years since I read the original and I think it made a huge difference in my reading of this novel. I didn't find Tom as charming and amusing as I once had, and I found many of his "witticisms" and observations cringe-inducing instead. I didn't completely hate the book, but it just didn't work for me like it might have if I'd read it when I read the first.

Thanks to the publisher for the manuscript edition I received at ALA Midwinter.
Profile Image for Annette.
900 reviews14 followers
October 26, 2014
KING DORK APPROXIMATELY by Frank Portman is the long anticipated sequel to the 2006 young adult cult-classic KING DORK.

Once again, the author is able to successfully channel the sarcastic male adolescent. This coming-of-age story pokes fun at everything from public education to teen love. Teen readers who enjoyed the music and cultural references in the first book will be happy to see these elements in the sequel. However since it’s been a decade since the first book was published, so it’s difficult to predict what today’s youth will think of the vinyl vs CD debates and clunky cellphones.

Picking up where the first book leaves off in 1999, the story meanders through a series of subplots including a first girlfriend and band show, but lacks the engaging plot of the first book. However the “slice-of-life” approach is likely to appeal to it’s anti-establishment audience.

NetGalley ARC
Profile Image for Charlou.
1,014 reviews10 followers
October 7, 2014
The thing about a sequel is does it live up to the first? And, I guess, does it stand on it's own? It's been long enough since I read and adored King Dork I thought I could easily answer those questions and maybe, maybe not.
The characters are still very enjoyable and probably more real than most. Those odd kids we see and don't know. The story seems long, this second half of tenth grade. There is a moment of truth that is quite wonderful. School is a game after all. I did keep trying to remember more about the first, what happened. How? It took me some time to just let it go. I do seem to remember the first had more energy, more about the band. A uniqueness that may have only been because I've read so much more similar YA since.
Profile Image for Heather Harrison.
39 reviews7 followers
September 1, 2016
This definitely lived up to the first! All it was missing was the glossary.

Overall it's about a boy that doesn't fit in and is fine with that. The way he interprets his world is hilarious and honest and sometimes even heart-warming despite his horny self. The plot centers around him starting a new school and trying to survive in a new world of band geeks and school "spirit".

If you are a human being that likes rock'n'roll and have a sense of humor then here you go. This is for you. You don't have to read the first book to enjoy it, either. Pick this up and read it now.

Profile Image for Emily.
358 reviews
December 29, 2014
It had been a long time since I read the first book. (Since then, I feel like I've also read a ton of other YA books in the model of King Dork -- maybe they've been influenced by it? Probably). I think I'd have liked this more if I had read the first one more recently, but as it was, it took me a LONG time to get into the sequel. The whole conspiracy thing was a little baffling, and it seemed like the first half of the book was almost irrelevant to the action in the second half. I will give it another chance because I loved the first one. But, I wasn't captivated.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Allison Floyd.
496 reviews57 followers
February 3, 2015
Long live King Dork! Replete with Ayn Ran AND Hercule Poirot references, the most apt (if apt means what I think it does) analysis of the extremely flawed narrative/philosophy of Revenge of the Nerds (and the Fitting In myth in general) ever penned, and stepfather par excellence Little Big Tom, King Dork Approximately is a requisite delight (if requisite delight is the one where the joy of reading something brilliant and hilarious written by a kindred spirit to misfits/malcontents everywhere fills you with necessary happiness).
Profile Image for Marjorie.
832 reviews56 followers
November 3, 2014
Given To Me For An Honest Review

Frank Portman's book King Dork Approximately is the sequel to King Dork. Is it just as good or better? Well, it's better and funnier. The teen boy still doesn't fit in. He moves and begins a new school and he is still the same "dork". He shares his world as he sees it. It is hilarious and funny. If you're human and like rock and roll then you'll love this book. It is a fun book to read and I recommend it. Looking for more from Frank Portman.
Profile Image for Dystopian.
357 reviews54 followers
February 19, 2015
I really liked the first one, but this second was a lukewarm rehash.

Also: In the first book Tom had an amazing vocabulary. In this second book, over and over and over again he would use a word then say "if ________ means what I think it means." It was so irritating and distracting and he did it at least a hundred times. Ugh.
Profile Image for Joanne.
Author 27 books27 followers
April 4, 2015
Dear Frank Portman:

I can't wait too long for KING DORK, III. I'm running out of time.

Also, the rumor is true, I am related to a Shumway. But that's another story. . . .

Yours very truly,

19 reviews
February 13, 2018
Portman, Frank. King Dork Approximately. Ember, 2016.

This is the second installment of the King Dork series. If you want to read the first one, it is called King Dork (I have warned you if you keep reading this review). Much like the first book, Tom Henderson our narrator is once again dealing with the struggles of high school. Careless administrators, cruel peers and struggling to appeal to the opposite sex are once again present in this book. In this edition however, King Dork is faced with even more challenges like a traumatic head wound that causes memory loss and his continued attempts to discover the truth about the mysterious death of his father. Even more surrounds our protagonist as the book progresses which brings up the classic question for anyone who was not popular in high school: How can I do this for four years? This is an excellent read that I personally feel anyone can relate to, you do not have to be in high school to feel what Tom is going through. Everyone has felt like an outcast at one point or another in their lives and this book will cause you to reminisce, even though those weren't the greatest of times. John Green himself said that this book would "rock your world", and I believe the book does that regardless of who is reading it. You may be wondering, well why only four stars then? This is because there is some colorful language in this book, and given who is supposed to be reading this book I do not know if it is appropriate. (High School kids swear all the time, but still. We don't want to promote it if we can avoid it.) Pick this book up and you will not be disappointed.

Creative Writing Lens:
I already touched on this a little bit earlier in the section above. What Portman does extremely well is make the story relatable to whoever may be picking up the book, not just high schoolers. We have all been in Tom's shoes at one point or another in our lives, even if it wasn't for very long. Creating a work that is universal is the ultimate goal in creative writing, and I believe that is precisely what our author has accomplished here.

Happy reading everyone! I would love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments section.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
July 20, 2018

King Dork Approximately, by Frank Portman, was the long-awaited sequel to the notorious high school recount known as King Dork. The first book ended with Tom Henderson having a centipede of a scar on his forehead and two potential girlfriends. Due to concluding events in the first book, the school is forced to shut down as mentioned in the first fifty pages. I personally didn’t think Portman was going to go down this slippery road as it had many possibilities of ending badly. However, I soon came to realize it was probably the best possible thing to do, especially how Portman did it.

One of the new characters that were more shown was Sam Hellerman's father, Herr Hellerman. I personally loved this character as he reminded me so much of my father. A gaze that could melt people, a high ranking degree ( Herr being a lawyer and my father being a doctor ) as well as being strict and stern. Every time Herr would be mentioned, I would imagine a German version of my dad. The only difference is that my dad was still kind and generous at heart, will Herr was still cold as steel.

In comparison to the first, the sequel had a different charm to the first. The first was more about the life of Tom as he made his way around life without his biological father, without a girlfriend, and without a high ranking status. It was also all intermingled with the conspiracy of his dead father. The second one, however, felt as it had a different atmosphere. The story of how Tom has to go to another school, get a girlfriend, try to file a lawsuit, and so on. The reason I liked King Dork was that it had a lot of elements that all cleverly fit into place. However, the sequel was not the case. I still loved it anyway as it was still a great book on its own. If people want to read this to get an almost exactly the same feel as the last, I guarantee they won't get it. If however, one wants to read this for the enjoyment of the same characters, personas and a good plot, this is a must-read. Even though you can't beat the original, I still recommend the sequel to any person who read the first.

- Abdullah Kailani 9K
Profile Image for Amy Holiday.
425 reviews2 followers
July 24, 2018
This was pretty ok. One of the few books where the beginning bored me, the end just kind of missed, but the middle was fantastic. The assimilation of King Dork into his new high school was HILARIOUS. Maybe because the situation was so familiar, as I have also found myself in a variety of situations wondering how the heck I got there, and not entirely sure if I was supposed to be there, and not really wanting to be there but enjoying myself anyway. I liked the rather unreliable narration, which was kind of spoiled by the random bit at the end. It's been too long since I read the first one, and I had forgotten some of the context, but I'm trying to remember if the story was told in the same "Dear Reader" style, which I don't think I liked very much.

Anyway, taking the objectification of girls aside, I liked it overall, even the "I'm pretending to be pretentious" writing style. More than once I laughed out loud while reading it.
24 reviews
October 19, 2019
An underwhelming sequel to King Dork, following Tom as he goes to a new high school. While the first book had an actual plot running through it, this book ends up just being more of his day to day life, with some events highlighted. Throw in his increased angst, and you have a character that is pretty unlikable.
721 reviews
July 31, 2023
I am definitely not the audience for this book. This is a book written for young men. However I read the first book in the series and I wanted to see what happened next. I am not a person who is familiar with much music and this book has many references to bands and musicians that went right over my head. However many, many years ago I was a high school kid and those parts seemed over the top.
Profile Image for Zot.
86 reviews
March 17, 2022
A disappointment. The sequel is never as good as the original. While this stays perfectly in tone with the first book, it never really goes anywhere and its resolution is rushed. Could have been great, was really just adequate.
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