Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Planet Girl: "Ice Cream Makes Everyone Look Fat"

WOW! So the 5th book in probably one of the greatest series about middle school life just came out this morning, and I'm happy to say that I woke up at 6, downloaded the eBook, and was finished at 7:28. It was just so amazing, but of course, only the amazing parts are the parts you want to know yourself, so of course no spoilers (it just crushes me because I could write a ten thousand word post if I could include spoilers)

Summary: Everyone has a girlfriend at Westport- well everyone except for Charlie Joe. Even Timmy, yes the same kid that is the most annoying best friend a kid could ever have has found a girl- and Pete, which don't even get me started why that's an amazing feat. Charlie is clueless. He's liked Hannah, who's going out with a Jake who's known as a nerd but really isn't if you get to know him, for 7 years, but he's starting to get a thing for Katie, who recently broke up with Nareem. But Charlie just can't do anything right and ends up getting Katie really mad at him. So he turns to...DUN DUN DUN- books. Shocker right? But they actually help- sorta. He's for a moment popular, because that one book has solved the romance problems of pretty much every kid in the school. But it made things worse...because he got to kiss Hannah. How is it a bad thing when you get to finally kiss the girl you've liked for 7 years? Well Katie witnessed the whole thing. Now- Charlie has to make things clear, he wants to hook up with Katie. Watch Charlie go through hilarious plans that involve suspensions, sneaking around the New York Public Library, and of course...chickens as he desperatly tries to tell Katie the magical words "Will You Go Out With me?" Greenwald right another killer novel that all readers should thoroughly enjoy.

What I liked: Just about 99.5% of the book. I mean c'mon- all the middle school drama was revisited and relived- we met some new faces and reminisced about the good 'ol gang, and there was a ton of romantic advice in every page. I mean, as a middle schooler, I can relate. Crushes and hand holding, side hugs, and the occasional teacher-yelling-at-kids-for-kissing (ok, some things are exaggerated but you get the point) happens all the time and the advice Greenwald gives is good- Be Yourself, not somebody else. Don't be that guy who texts the girl the magical questions, do it face to face, and if they reject you, so be it, you've put a subconscious message in her head that "hey, I'm the don't-hold-anything-from-you type of guy" (Or Something like that). At times, I found myself nodding along to the romantic tips. Oh, and did I mention this book is hilarious? My favorite scene is when Charlie Joe is filming his sister Megan. Megan: "Do I look fat eating Ice Cream?" Charlie "Nah, you look fine" Megan after 2 seconds of thinking: "SHUT IT OFF!" Charlie: "Why?" Megan: "Because Ice Cream Makes everyone look Fat" *Sigh*- these may be cheesy jokes and if you pick one of his books up you may not laugh but hey- the humor is plentiful and there's bound to be something that makes you chuckle or have you spit milk from your nose (WARNING: Don't read this book and eat cereal. Because you'll spend the next five minutes cleaning the kitchen table)

What I didn't Like: I think the only thing I didn't like was the realistic factor. Of course it's not an issue- after all it is meant to be fiction, but since Greenwald is trying to make this seem like that middle school down the road, I guess I better point this out. Honestly these days, middle school kids aren't willing to publicly announce "Hey, wanna go out". I'm not just talking about the guy who only reads and blogs 24/7 (AKA me) but lots of athletes and quote un-quote "popular" kids have trouble to. Mostly because of one word- rumors. Word gets around you asked out who and whatever the answer is it won't matter- you'll be talked about behind your back. The risk and reward just isn't worth it unless you know 100% sure they like you back. So while there are about 5% schools in the country that behave exactly like Eastport Middle, the other 95% like to play things on the safe side.

Final Thoughts: Just an Amazing book that I'm left speechless. Just, WOW.

Rating on 'the scale': 9.5 out of ten.

Why? I wouldn't change a single word in the book. It was written brilliantly, with jokes yet serious moments with some really good life advice. The -.5 is because the genre. Sadly, not everyone is like me and loves a good rom com (romance & comedy) novel. The book gets a nine for it's awesomeness. The last point is for how wide the audience is. It's an amazing book and if you're into Rom Com's you'll love it.

Related: The Whole CJJ Series (Basically any bok that comes up if you google "Tommy Greenwald")/ How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart/ Middle School Series by James Patterson

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