Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Book Review of Unspeakable Evil

I just finished reading Josh Leib's I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President. It's fairly new, so is currently only available in hardcover. It's not fantastic literature, so in general I'd say wait until it comes out in paperback, but if your kid is dying to get Wimpy Kid, CONVINCE HIM TO GET THIS INSTEAD.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I compare it to Wimpy Kid because, well, the main characters are very similar. However, whereas Kinney's 'hero' is merely the worst sort of Middle School boy stereotype, Leib's Oliver Watson is an overweight, apparently dumb, irrespective Middle School boy who runs his own evil empire! The beginning was a little confusing- I could not tell if Oliver was ACTUALLY an evil genius and the third richest person in the world with a compound under his house and hired bodyguards at school whose identities he was unaware of, or just had a really good imagination and high thoughts of himself. I think what makes the difference between the two books is the absurd. The Wimpy Kid is just obnoxious. Oliver has a blimp, a cowering frontman, and a dog trained in the art of attacking by Finnish Mercenaries. His obnoxious behaviour is made acceptable by removing him from the real world in which the reader lives.

But anyway- so Oliver decides to run for 8th grade president in order to show up his 'Daddy' (who is called that by Oliver precisesly because he hates it). He has his corporation gather blackmail against the other candidates and has them convinced to drop out of the race. Rather than congratulations at his guaranteed win, his father explains that winning by default is not actually winning. So Oliver arranges for there to be an opponent against whom he can surely win: Randy Sparks- the Most Pathetic Boy in School.

I won't tell you the ending or the result of the election. I will say that I was a little let down by the ending. The climactic moment of the book was great. But then it didn't really go anywhere from there. I'm not sure if there is room for a sequel, but as there is no such thing as a stand alone book anymore, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if there was.

So, once again, if your child wants to read (or has already enjoyed) the Wimpy Kid books, definitely share this book with them.

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