My Life in Smiley: It’s All Good – Anne Kalicky

I love ๐Ÿ’• books ๐Ÿ“š written in diary form! I especially love ๐Ÿ’• books ๐Ÿ“š written in diary form that are illustrated! I love ๐Ÿ’• emojis ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ˜Ž! Unfortunately I didnโ€™t love ๐Ÿ’•this book ๐Ÿ“–. Maybe Iโ€™m comparing it too much to others Iโ€™ve read like Dork Diaries but I found this book ๐Ÿ“– bordering on boring ๐Ÿ’ค.

Thereโ€™s a dire warning โš ๏ธ about not reading this book ๐Ÿ“– until 2126 with the threat of such cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž stuff as hundreds of tarantulas ๐Ÿ•ท jumping out of massive black blisters on your hands ๐Ÿคš. I read the warning โš ๏ธ page and got my hopes up but it turned out that this was the only page that really showed the kind of personality Iโ€™ve come to expect in diary format kidโ€™s books ๐Ÿ“š.

Itโ€™s not like nothing happened. We follow Max, whoโ€™s 11, through his first year at middle school. Max lives in France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท with his parents and sisters Marion, whoโ€™s 14 and super annoying and Lisa, whoโ€™s 8 and the favourite child. Heโ€™s best friends with Tom, a skinny nerd ๐Ÿค“. Together they play Zombieland ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ on Xbox ๐ŸŽฎ and they have their own chicken ๐Ÿ” nugget eating record. Max has a crush on Naรฏs who is consistently described as pretty.

At school there is assigned seating and of course Max has been assigned to sit next to his arch nemesis, Raoul. Max recounts gym dramas and other classes he attends. Thereโ€™s a field trip to the retirement home, exchange students visit from England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ and thereโ€™s a field trip to the Eiffel Tower. There are also visits to Maxโ€™s grandparents, skiing โ›ท and parties ๐ŸŽˆto plan and attend. During the school year there is an ongoing mystery of who is responsible for the graffiti on the wall on the way to school and how the artist knows so much about Max.

So, with all of this happening why wasnโ€™t this a โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ book ๐Ÿ“–? There wasnโ€™t the humour I expected. The main character barely had a personality. There were cute illustrations and emoji overload, but Iโ€™m not desperately needing to read the second book ๐Ÿ“– in this series. Perhaps this one was just setting the groundwork for future incredible stories. Maybe some of the humour got lost in the translation.

What it boiled down to for me was that this book ๐Ÿ“– was just okay ๐Ÿ‘Œ. Iโ€™m not jumping up and down excited ๐Ÿ˜† about my new discovery but I also made it to the end so it didnโ€™t completely suck either. I may relent and try the second book ๐Ÿ“– (maybe) but it wonโ€™t have the honour of going straight to the top of the TBR pile.

Thank you very much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this book ๐Ÿ“–.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Follow the middle school misadventures of Max, as recorded in his hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kidโ€“style journal that is unconventionally illustrated with the internationally recognised emoticons of the SmileyWorld brand.

Warning: Do not read before 2126! My Life in Smiley: It’s All Good is meant strictly for people of the future, chronicling the life and times of Max, an average eleven-year-old. Annoying siblings, stage fright, love at first sight – can you believe what kids in the 21st century had to deal with? Follow his illustrated diary as has embarks on a great journey – the first year of middle school in France. Maxโ€™s journal entries, humorous drawings and colourful smileys recount his adventures in making new friends, dealing with bullies, and surviving a ruthless P.E. teacher. Along the way, Max starts to figure out how to interact with his peers, and he realizes that at the end of the day, no matter what life throws at him, itโ€™s all good!

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