Ashley's Reviews > The Cybil War

The Cybil War by Betsy Byars
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May 28, 2010

liked it

This is my 10 yr old little brother's favorite book. I get so excited that he loves to read! He kept talking about this one and how much he liked it, so I bought him a copy for his birthday. He asked me if I would like to read it too, so I did.

It was a cute little story about two best friends who like the same girl. The main character, Simon is a nice, likeable guy who seems to block himself in a little bit from the troubles of his life. His best friend, Tony, is a compulsive liar who tries to make trouble for Simon and Cybil. He makes up stories and does what he can to upset people in general, and basically tries to make life miserable for as many people as he can. It feels almost typical of kids that age (like 4th grade) but Tony seems pretty harsh, although that might be more because he is placed next to nice-guy Simon. At one point, a character is talking to Tony and calls him 'juvenille' and another comments that he will spend his whole life blaming the negative pieces on things outside of his control. 'It wasn't my fault, it's because the desk was unlucky' etc. I think that sums him up quite well.

I didn't much care for the way the characters were written. I believe I would have liked this book a lot more if I had read it when I was younger. The characters were all pretty flat. I felt like there were moments when Byars tried to add depth to the characters but it never really worked. It was a cute story for younger kids, but doesn't really hold up well for the older audience.
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