Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro

Title: The Stereotypical Freaks
Author: Howard Shapiro
Publication: November 4th 2012 by Animal Media Group 
Genre: Graphic Novel
Format: e-book, 154 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5
Content Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon 

Four disparate high school seniors come together to compete in their school's battle of the bands. Sharing a love for playing rock and roll, the members name the band "The Stereotypical Freaks" because they feel stereotyped by their classmates - smart kid, geek, star athlete and quiet weirdo… when in fact they know they are much more than those labels that have been placed on them.

When one member reveals life altering news, winning the competition takes on more of a meaning to each member. Scared and angry, upset and yet still with a lot of resolve they set out to win one for the good guys… will they?

My thoughts: 
I decided to read this when the author, Howard Shapiro send me a review request. (Thank you so much for that!) I almost immediately agreed because I just love graphic novels and since this one is about music I wanted to read it even more! So when he send me the e-book arc I started right away and a few hours (with some breaks in between) I already finished. And it was amazing!

I loved everything about this novel. The story, the characters, the art, the music. It all fit perfectly together. 

One of my favorite aspects was how with every chapter there were songs written down you could listen to with that chapter. And to top that off, it was definitely my kind of music! I really loved that.
Another thing I loved where the main  characters. Just like the blurb says: they are stereotypes, the smart kid, geek, star athlete and quiet weirdo. You wouldn't expect them to be friends but somehow through music they come together to form their band and become amazing friends. And their band is totally amazing! They rock!

I must admit I cried at the sad parts. Especially at the end. And I never cry when reading books! So it definitely says something about how amazing it was. So I hadn't expected this. This novel seriously made an impact on me. I have also lost some people to cancer so it made me think about it all over again. This is not a bad thing. It once again made me realize that it's okay to be scared but you have to face your fears and once you've done that, you realize that it wasn't that bad to begin with. *wipes tear away* Now this book wasn't all sad topics and deep, sometimes it also was really funny and made me laugh out loud.
Now about the art... Unlike some other graphic novels where the art is just crap this one was actually well done. I loved it!

The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro is one of my favorite graphic novels I've ever read. The music did me in but the story and characters is what kept me going. I would recommend this to everyone I know. Even if you're not into this genre, you should read it. It's an amazing but sad coming-of-age story that will leave a deep impact on you and the way you think about some things. Or so I hope. This novel is simply a must-read, not only for young-adults but for anyone.

About the author:
HOWARD SHAPIRO lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons. The Controller for the Pittsburgh-based Visual Effects firm, Animal Inc., he has also written four children s books and The Stereotypical Freaks will be his debut Graphic Novel. His 2008 book, Hockey Player for Life, has been the number one downloaded children s hockey e-book on Amazon s Kindle chart since its arrival as an e-book in November of 2011. His, Hockey Days book was the only book featured in the December 2007 Sporting News Annual Gift Guide as a Best Buy Gift for Children. Through a corporate sponsorship program he set up (and maintains), since the 2010-11 season, both of his children s hockey books have been given to NHL teams (over 2,500 copies to date) for use in their community and educational initiatives. Since 2006 his annual charity raffle, which he matches dollar for dollar donated, has raised funds for several hockey-related charities including the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Hockey Fights Cancer and the Keith and Lisa Primeau Scholarship Fund. For more information, please log on to howardshapiro(dot)net

Visit Howard at: 
Find him also at: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


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