The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro – Book Review

The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard ShapiroI received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The description given on NetGalley for this book, I found slightly misleading, simply because when the phrase ‘life-altering news’ is used I don’t automatically assume it’s a cancer diagnosis. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have requested the book because after A Monster Calls and (most of) A Fault in Our Stars (though both are good books) I had decided that novels centred around cancer just weren’t what I wanted to read. I read for fun, and it just kind of depresses me.

As the story progressed I noticed a lot of ‘life lessons’ being thrown about (all under the general umbrella of ‘make the most of life while you can’), it would have been hard not to notice them honestly, as they were all explicitly spelled out, sometimes more than once, leaving the reader nothing more to infer or figure out for themselves. This is something I’d expect for a graphic novel aimed at young readers but given the heavy subject matter, I don’t think I’d like the age group this level of reading was appropriate for reading this particular story. Especially since the only reason the band enters the competition is so, the lead singer can impress his one true love – the most popular girl in school with a ‘loser’ boyfriend – which is an odd cliche to include in a story about overcoming stereotypes?

This said I liked the music references in the story – even though I think I have a slightly different definition of ‘rock’ than the author.

16 thoughts on “The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro – Book Review

  1. It sounds sweet, but I’m not sure it’d be my cup of tea either. Still, I think it’s important to create age-appropriate materials on this subject matter which it seems like the author did!

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    • Yeah that’s true – I think kids in a situation to need to read about cancer because they/a family member/a friend have been diagnosed would benefit from reading this book and it’s overall positive vibe, just like you said, not my cup of tea πŸ™‚


  2. I haven’t read this book (or heard of it before today), but I like the way you reviewed it. I can totally understand where you’re coming from! (And I agree- cancer is such a heavy subject matter; I wouldn’t want to read about it, either.)

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  3. Such a shame. Perhaps the book should come with a warning about contents. I know when my dad died a couple of years ago from cancer, the first two books I picked up had a character that had cancer. There was no warning about this in the synopsis either and at the time I didn’t want to read about it.

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