Author: Howard Shapiro
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Blurb : 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?
I have read a lot of Manga, its something I do whenever I am empty handed. This was something different, however somewhere I felt it was lacking. The story is a very typical and normal high school story, about outcasts and the stereotypes that surround them (hence the name). I don’t have any issues with the plot because its something to read the same type of novels again and again but something else completely to read a comic based on it. The graphic images (which were great by the way) aid your imagination or limit it, whichever way you want to look at it. But it gives you an image of your characters and hence knowing what one looks like also helps one connect with the characters in a different manner. Thats why I think the plot worked out for me in the end.
What went wrong for me? Well it was hasty. Everything was happening too quickly that somewhere I lost interest. But I still liked it enough to complete the entire novel. The second thing was the fact that there was a character dying in the graphic novel yet some how it didn’t feel like it until after the competition. Hence at many places it felt like there was a lack in the adaptability of the characters. That somehow they never lived up to the emotion being expressed. Also there are some strips which are left blank in the sense there is no dialogue happening, just illustrations. Those were the times when I might have left it for another time to read, or just skipped to the next part.
Overall, I like the story and the characters too. The characters could be more round but I liked them anyway. If you’re too specific about the illustrations or if you are a frequent Manga or comic book reader then you might not like this one as much (however, its a cute story, if nothing new). But if you’re looking for music and band related stories, I would suggest you this one.
ALSO THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL HAS MUSIC SUGGESTIONS! I love music recommendations and embrace them very happily (specially if in a book). Thanks to this comic I listened to a lot of The Who, Tom Cochrane, Pete Townshend and Greenday. 😀
My rating would be 3.5 stars.