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Hey guys it’s Sam, and welcome to the long-awaited return of Jolly Good Bookie! Now, Diary of a Wimpy Kid could easily be the most popular realistic fiction novel of all time; it has inspired a colossus of merchandise including a 3-part movie series, and it has inspired a countless number of realistic fiction titles in its wake. “Wimpy Kid clones”, I like to call them. I’ve read tons of them: Dork DiariesBig Nate, Origami Yoda, and pretty much every Andrew Clements book, most notably Lunch Money.

Now, few realistic fiction authors do it right like Kinney did; for example, Lunch Money is one of my favorite realistic fiction books. So is The School Story, also written by Clements. Most authors go wrong attempting to make their story as derivative as possible, while not paying any heed to flaws like a thin plot or poor characterization. I can list so many books that have failed to do exactly this, and most have ended up on my list of the worst books of all time. The Loser List by HN Kowitt was a standout example of this. Its plot practically screamed Wimpy Kid: the middle school misadventures of a boy obsessed with comics. I read this book a while back, and here’s what I had to say about it:

“This book is an average Wimpy Kid decoy, and believe me, I’ve read tons of those (Dork Diaries, Big Nate, etc.), so I feel almost BAD for Mr. Kinney that tons of publishers couldn’t come up with anything original. And that’s what makes The Loser List…well…a loser! The storyline is cumbersome, the illustrations are rough-felt if not violent (save for the picture where a kid got ripped in half), and it feels like just an average walk in the park, trip on the rock, and dip in the fountain.”

But I guess the story was successful enough that Kowitt made two sequels, turning Loser List into an official series. This is sequel #1, so let’s see if Kowitt brought homemade to the table, or just went out and bought some pancake mix?

“Ty Randall must die.”

In a world full of Wimpy Kid doppelgangers, there’s Danny Shine. He’s returned, he’s ready, and he’s out for revenge! In Revenge of the Loser, Shine has successfully gotten his name off of the Loser List in the girls’ bathroom. But he quickly discovers that the List has become the least of his problems–his radar is focused on Ty Randall, a new kid with two six packs–one of muscle, and one of green tea. He’s contributed to more school programs than Danny cares to remember, with the main focus being on helping the environment. So for good measure, Ty’s a hippie. He’s attracting all of the girls at lunch like a magnet with his handsome looks and his serious tone. Even Danny’s secret crush, Asia O’Neill, is falling head over heels. The jealousy just builds up to the point where Danny snaps and concocts a complex plan to do Ty justice, but unfortunately true colors are shown and Danny must desperately repair the damage before it’s too late.

Revenge of the Loser definitely has something new to offer, and the story does focus more on itself than some goofy drawings or copying and pasting from Wimpy Kid. The infamous bathroom wall graffiti does return, but that’s probably as rogue as ROTL ever gets. Well, Chantal is kind of a gold-hearted jerk who shows her true hero at the end. But besides all of these new concepts, Revenge of the Loser is almost the exact same as its predecessor. At least the plot is structured better.

It somewhat pains me to say it, but I think Danny Shine has finally done Wimpy Kid justice. There, I said it myself. Revenge of the Loser comes packed with humor and heart–albeit derivative humor and heart–and definitely puts its predecessor in the shadows. Now, let’s just see if they can keep that up for Jinx of the Loser, or better yet, Take Me To Your Loser, hitting stores this September.

FINAL SCORE: ★★★

IF YOU LIKED THAT, CHECK OUT:

  • Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald
  • Lunch Money by Andrew Clements
  • Big Nate In A Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce
  • Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
  • The Last Invisible Boy by Evan Kuhlman

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Because I love my fans, I’ll make this a Jolly Good Bookie double feature! Carpe diem, baby! Anyway, what if A Series of Unfortunate Events met Mysterious Benedict Society? The result would probably be School of Fear, the young-audience debut of Gitty Daneshvari. The novel takes place at a very shady institution that few people have heard of, called the School of Fear. Run by Mrs. Wellington and her assistant Schmidty, the main goal of the School of Fear is to eradicate children’s fears over the course of a summer using “unorthodox” methods. This summer’s students are Theo Bartholomew, Madeleine Masterson, Garrison Feldman, and Lulu Punchalower. Theo is terrified of general death, Maddie of bugs (notably spiders), Gary of deep water, and Lulu of confined spaces.

I loved the ominous and gothic feel of the story as it went along, and how it mixed its dark chills and clever thrills with some quality laughs to keep the prose fresh. The story is exciting albeit predictable and tedious, and definitely one I do not regret reading when I find myself awake at 7 in the morning. (No, it’s not insomnia.) It showed that a good way–if not the only way–to face your fears is to tackle them head on, and it shows how difficult life can be while crippled by phobias. This is a good book to relate to; all humans really are afraid of something.

However, to me it frankly started to fall apart around and following the shocking climax; I found myself lost in the prose quite frequently on numerous occasions. I also kept asking myself if they were ever going to conquer their fears, but luckily Daneshvari has several aces up her sleeve to shrewdly guide the story. Other than that, School of Fear is a pretty tense and exciting adventure with underachieving predictability and noticeable tedium. I would definitely read the other two sequels in the trilogy–in fact, I have my hands on Class Is NOT Dismissed as I type, and as you read.

FINAL SCORE: ★★★★

IF YOU LIKED THAT, CHECK OUT:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquist
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
  • The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
  • Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail and Matthew Cordell

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Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Be sure to tune in same time next Friday for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy,

~S~ 😎

Videos of the Week: “THE PERFECT BOYFRIEND?” and “HOW TO BE A SALAD!” by PewDiePie. I wonder if he’ll become the most-subbed channel on YouTube by the end of the summer. I’M BETTING YOU, FOLKS!



We haven’t seen any works of the waistband warrior from Dav Pilkey since The Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People six years ago. Yeah, yeah, you might already know how this is going, and you might ask “Sam, didn’t we already go over this?” And we may have already talked about this topic back on 2Sam2Mwak. The most recent excuse Dav put out there was that he was caring for his terminally ill grandpa. Well, although his grandpa is gleefully watching this post from *sniffle* that big bookstore in the sky :(, he is already halfway through his four-book Scholastic contract. And this is the penultimate book on the contract, something he bargained for–but we didn’t.

Apparently, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers came out two months ago while summer was just starting to decay. While I expected it to be a bit more upcoming, I’ll just tell you now. Anyway, the premise of the story–if you didn’t already know–picks up where Preposterous Plight left off. The last time we saw George & Harold, they were being arrested and headed for the slammer. Then Harold spoke thirteen fateful words: ‘”What could be worse than going to jail for the rest of our lives?”, changing the course of time itself forever. Now, Captain Underpants 9 is the most innovative entry yet for various reasons–one of them being that part of the book serves as a prequel that takes us back to the “good ole kindergarten days”! Now, they’re not fighting aliens or scientists. Now, an afro-sporting George and a not-so-badly-haircut Harold are using brainpower to fight against Principal Krupp’s equally nasty nephew Kipper.

Now, let’s go to the (hopefully) real plot: Professor Poopypants (the main villain of the fourth book) had showed up after four books in some sort of limbo. He had taken it in after the defeat of his debut appearance to change his name–but that only made him a laughingstock of a jailbird. But now, he’s back for–most likely–revenge, and he’s got plenty of technological advantages up his sleeve. (One contraption from the last book left anyone who dared to laugh at his new name frozen solid. 8-o) Now, Captain’s had plenty of hard hits (including wedgies) in his past, but the return of an old villain? Totally new. Will this competition leave this scantily-clad superhero’s underwear in a bunch? Or will Tippy be forced to “poopy his pants” once more?

Now, since the book’s already out, it’s gotten pretty good feedback. Out of the 9 reviews I saw on Amazon, most people enjoyed the book for its returning laughs and unparalleled entertainment, but some people were more critical over elements like its ending. One specific review from Louisville, Kentucky gave it its only 2-star rating–due to it not actually having any underpants or Klingon in it. And let me inform you that the person that sent this review is a mother. A mother that needs to catch up on her Dav Pilkey.

“With reading, however, it’s a whole different story–we get involved. When we read a book, there aren’t any special effects. There’s no music to set the mood, and there’s no costume designers or set decorators. We have to fill in all those special details ourselves by using our imaginations. The simple fact is, the more we read, the more we get to use our imaginations. And the more we use our imaginations, the more powerful we become. So crack open a book and start reading, because reading really does give you super powers. And imagination is the greatest super power of all.”

– Dav Pilkey in his “Author Adventures” video on Amazon

Couldn’t have said those very words better myself. Anyway, you can check out Captain Underpants 9 when it hits bookstores on–oh yeah, it’s out right now. And a small little chunk of my mind is telling me you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity. And if you don’t want to, you’ve already got plenty of dollars to save up for when the tenth installment (The Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers) comes out next January.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, Professor Poo–sorry, Tippy Tinkletrousers will be returning for this installment too! Even Sulu and Crackers will be coming back! Again! In this boo–er, first, try to imagine a world without underpants. Not only Captain, but likely undergarments in general. You’d be a dead duck if you got pantsed, and if you didn’t wipe good enough it would go straight to your pants. Anyway, this might be the future of Cap, as–er–something horrible happened to George & Harold. And why couldn’t C.U. pipe up and save them? Since Tippy and his tech-savvy hijinks had prevented the two from creating the waistband warrior to begin with! Now, having broken the yo-yo of time, George & Harold must figure out how to change changed time. It sounds ridick, but it has to happen–or else over a decade of gutbusting adventures will all be for naught. And I already saw a different version of the world as we know it in Preposterous Plight. Will the grandfather clock ever strike twelve? Find out when Revolting Revenge hits stores next year.

Stay classy, America.

~S~ 😎

p.s. Speaking of future dates, Dav’s official website @ http://www.pilkey.com, is currently on hold due to all this Tippy Tinkletrousers madness. He stated that it would be up and running in “a few weeks”–but that’s what it says every time you visit the site.

Videos of the Week: If you tuned into my second chopped, screwed, squeezed, and crunched pack of news concerning Adventure Time‘s status in the DVD world, you might have checked out my Video of the Week. It was the first entry in Swoozie’s Cheating series, “Cheating in Middle School”. And if you laughed just as much as I expected you to, ya might wanna consider this 3.4 million-time viewed sequel.

And here’s something that might make old-time gamers crack a smile:

Plus that “Author Adventures” video I got that quote from:



Define the word wimp. As a noun, it is “a weak and cowardly or unadventurous person.” I guess that’s how some people may describe Greg Heffley, known to fans as “the Wimpy Kid” of Jeff Kinney’s national bestselling saga, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It first got its start on Funbrain as an original story that was read over twenty million times when it released in 2004. From thence, Kinney decided to make the jump from online to on paper, and he has been a cult for kids since. Plus, he’s doing so good, he’s released 5 other titles, and even a few movies. Now, let’s repeat that: “even a few movies”. The most recent wimpy kid flick came out around St. Patty’s 2011 (the sequel, Rodrick Rules), and from the success of that movie comes the series’ threequel due this summer, and from the looks of it, this is gonna be the best entry yet.

Yep, this trailer just uploaded in April, and it’s already got…not even 20,000 hits. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the new movie’s called Dog Days. No, we didn’t all “skip a movie”. This will interpret features from both The Last Straw and Dog Days. This movie shares most of its storyline with the fourth book: school’s out and Greg’s starting to plan for the summer, when all his plans go awry, leaving him with one question: What on earth is he gonna do for three months? Up the antes in unintended gut-busting humor, that’s what. And yes, Sweetie the dog is going to be in it. This looks like a movie I’d undoubtedly want to see this summer, and hopefully my excitement won’t go up in steam once this movie hits the cinemas. If there were a few differences I spotted in this, it’d be 1) Greg’s voice changed!!!, and 2) Sweetie’s gonna be back. Cool story, bro. And for possibly the first time, Heather Hills, Holly’s older sister, is gonna be in the movie. She will be portrayed by Melissa Roxburgh, whom you probably don’t know. The movie’s filming was in Vancouver (much like the two previous films), from August to October 2011, and it will officially be PG according to Box Office Mojo, citing “some rude humor”. And hopefully it will sell well and continue the series’ multi-million-selling streak, with a combination of $116 million of lifetime gross revenue. Oh, did I forget to show you the teaser poster?

Make sure to mark your calendars for August 3, 2012, because on that very day, something wimpy is going down. Well, that’s all for this week, but make sure to subscribe, like, rate, comment, and reblog often! Same thing @ 2Sam2Mwak!

– Sam

p.s. Can you feel the love? Greg can in this year’s untitled & upcoming seventh Wimpy Kid title. As the tagline of the announcement poster is “Love is in the air”, we can assume that this ranges around Valentine’s Day. Despite this, the book’s due to come this Thanksgiving, so mark your calendars for that too.

p.p.s. Would You Rather o’ the Week: Would you rather be shot by an arrow from Cupid, or be shot by an arrow from an underwear-wearing Greg with fake wings plastered on his back, so it’s more like he’s trying to kill you than get you lovestruck?

p.p.s.s. Random Video o’ the Week: Some people are very intimate with the kinds of musical YouTube videos they watch, and they usually tire quickly of the usual. But luckily through remixing tech, they can shut their pieholes with the amount of enjoyment they’ll receive. But they can only admire the highest levels of remixes. And on this note, that level belongs to Fagottron, more famously known as Pogo. This video just came out this January, and it’s already past 3 million hits due to how good it is. This is so darn good, I’ll have to bury a YouTube treasure to dig up in the future for this! (Check out this guy’s channel for more sweet remixes, and please do like this post for a very worthy suggestion. C’mon, you know you want to, do it for ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGA!)



Hey guys it’s Sam, and sorry for the delay, I am back from my trip and have been getting smitten over my new laptop! So now, I don’t have to wait so long for my sister in order to reach you! And today, we’re digging up another YouTube treasure! (if you didn’t see the last one, click here!) And this comes in a whole series of really awesome videos! Calling all children out there…you probably know your reactions to the funniest YouTube videos! Well, what if you evaluated how kids (from youngsters to teens) reacted to videos, from viral ones to YouTube stars? That’s what the Fine brothers’ show, Kids React, is all about! Watch them with videos from the classics, like Keyboard Cat and David After Dentist, to ones like the creepy Snickers Halloween commercial and Freddie Wong, and that guy you saw the other day teaching you the Double Dream Hands dance. It has a chronological series of eighteen videos, and I’ll show you half of them! Here goes…

And if you thought those were hilarious, there are actually nine more of them left to see! 😀 Next time these guys appear, we’ll see their reaction to the 8-bit cutie Nyan Cat, the Harry Potter 7 Part 2 trailer, and more! And if you like these videos, subscribe to the Fine Bros to see new videos first and like this post, please! I guess that is all for today! Goodbye from Sammwak (check back Friday for a new treasure, mateys!), and remember: Stay in school, don’t do drugs, share a cherry with a chipmunk, give a monkey a shower, and butter an ant.

– Sam

p.s. Hey, you thought this post was over? HA! You’re wrong, bub! >:) No one’s going anywhere until you see the latest video released today!

 



Hey guys, it’s me Sam. And do you know the Annoying Orange? The Caesar of Citrus? The Atomic Annoyance? The Prince of the Puns? The fruit whose channel has more than 500 million total upload views and more than 1 million subscribers? Yeah, that’s him. Isn’t there a person like that in life for you: They won’t bother to listen, they’re extremely annoying, but at the same time can be awfully lovable? I know I do. 😀

Now, not to be offensive to any Annoying Orange fans, but I haven’t actually been up-to-date on Orange’s channel. But I have been finding out juice on his Facebook status, and a lot of it’s about a game. Not a Saw-type game. A fun game. Annoying Orange‘s first-ever game, to be exact. Have you ever wanted to be the KILLER of the kitchen? Now you CAN, in Orange’s first-ever game…Kitchen Carnage!!!

Now, I really found out about this game on the Annoying Orange site, annoyingorange.com, and I got SO pumped about it. And I believe it just might sound like a slaughterhouse of fun. Now, it takes up the usual fruit-killer action of Fruit Ninja, but you’d find actual characters from the web series. You’d zing them into blenders to get blended. You’d launch them onto cutting boards to be knifed. But, if available, you can sling them into the cupboards, where you’d find characters like Pear or Marshmallow. People are already erupting on this game literally ever since Annoying Orange’s episode of the same name came out.

YouTubers are already reviewing this game with positive reviews. IpodAppsEverywhere zinged a 4.5 out of 5 at Kitchen Carnage. Jojopet blended a perfect 5 out of 5 out of the game. Studiospaz even called it better than Bieber.

Now, to get REALLY inside the iPhone.

What makes the game efficient is that it really consumes the real basis of Annoying Orange: the KILL. And now, people even want celebrity fruits (i.e. Lady Pasta?) and more fruits to kill. It is the nicest game on the block, although the most strategic. It may instantly throw bonus time, mega bonuses, and level-ups at your feet in a successful sling in the cupboard (and vice versa), but it also conducts the most cheekiest strategy ever for a game: AIM. You could zip it into the perfect direction, but let it fall right behind the blender, or off to the side. Now, I haven’t played the game myself, but here are some tips otherwise:

Think before the zing. Thought literally comes before EVERYTHING, and in this, it’s pretty vital. Like I said, the cheekiest strategy of this game is aim, and you got to keep some good aim. Aim is earned through thought. How to do this? ACTUALLY THINK! Should I zing it at the board for a nice, juicy knife-down? Or should I maybe pop it into the blender for a spinning, squishy death? And should I push it so high it reaches the cupboard? Or so low it bounces off the table?

When the time comes to consume that opportunity, CONSUME IT! Or else you may not get the mega bonus or bonus time that will help save your five seconds left of slicing and dicing. Even DaneBoe (creator of AO) consumes the opportunity. And if you won’t consume it, talk to the Boedigheimer, girlfriend.

People are saying that Kitchen Carnage is actually putting up a pretty good fight with Angry Birds, especially since AB has released its second app, Angry Birds Rio based on the new movie Rio. Who are YOU rooting for? Answer in your comment/email!

My final consensus (my time zone is yelling at me that I’m running out of time) is that: “Though its real gameplay is predictable and frustrating, Kitchen Carnage is a whimsical addition to Dane’s blossoming series with acceptably witty gaming.”

So, Annoying Orange: Kitchen Carnage knifes up a juicy 4.5 out of 5. Different thoughts? Vote in the poll below.

I guess that’s all for now…Oh, wait! I almost forgot. Sorry I forgot to smash this into my post, but check out DaneBoe actually playing Kitchen Carnage with 71,750 points! Feel the power of the

– Sam

p.s. Are you interested in stopping by the App Store to slice up Kitchen Carnage? You can for a killer 99 cents! A cold-blooded steal! Also, if you don’t want to stop there, stop by to blend up the Annoying Orange soundboard app for free!



Hey guys it’s Sam and do you remember my Super Mario Crossover post?(Super Mario Bros. Crossover!?)

Well, you know how I mentioned that ninja Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden? Well, guess what? When the game told me I was playing an outdated version, it told me that I could go to the updated version (as in 1.1)! I obviously said yes and said ‘okay’, and guess where it led me to? Exploding Rabbit.com, where the 1.1 version was! Since Ryu debuted in that version, I was so stoked to play him. And I got to say, he’s GOOD. Why?:

HE CAN WALL CLIMB! – Yeah, I said the ninja can WALL CLIMB. All you have to do is jump onto a wall, and he instantly clings on. I gotta say, that’s pretty handy for those situations where you’re climbing up a 12-story building, you know what I’m saying?

SHURIKEN POWER! – You can throw shurikens after you receive a mushroom of firepower. They’re like boomerangs; they come back to you after you throw them. And I got 2 say, EPIC.

There’s no real difference, except when you select Mario, he jumps and hits a ? block rather than jumping in the air oh so randomly.

Here’s the link to the 1.0 game at Newgrounds: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/534416

Here’s the link to the 1.1 game at Exploding Rabbit: http://www.explodingrabbit.com/games/super-mario-bros-crossover

So, enjoy them.

 

Thx for reading please like and subscribe.

 

– Sam

p.s. I found out that we’ve hit almost 910 hits! We’ve DEFINITELY gone past the 850 mark! If we make it to 950 hits, I’ll just thank you. But if we hit 1,000…