1 June 2014

Review: Tween Hobo: Off the Rails

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Alena Smith with Kate Harmer
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 240
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Maybe...I guess...)

Summary (I have no snappy thing to relate this to the fact that I used GoodReads for the summary, if you do than please put it in the comments): A hilarious and irreverent illustrated book based on the popular Twitter feed (@tweenhobo), featuring a young spunky girl who packs up her glitter pens and sneaks out of math class one Monday afternoon to traverse the railroads in search of freedom, adventure, and her own personal obsession: Justin Bieber tickets.

Get ready to laugh and learn with the littlest hobo. She's only twelve years old, but a hard twelve. You'll meet her friends: Stumptown Jim (a hero who tried his best to homeschool her on the road); Tin Cap Earl (who's always up for shooting a Call Me Maybe parody video in a graveyard); Toothpick Frank (who loves Pinterest); Salt Chunk Annie (a woman of the night, whatever that means) and Hot Johnny Two-Cakes (who Tween Hobo swears she does NOT have a crush on).

Find out how she survives, thanks in part to the kindness of park rangers. You'll hear her take on major cultural events (I go off a fiscal cliff every time I go near a Claire's.). And you'll enjoy beautiful hand-rendered illustrations that bring out the beauty in her words just like how eyeliner makes a hobo's look really pop.

Often snarky and frequently ridiculous, this imaginative journal-like book includes maps, jokes, laughs, doodles, tips, hobo symbols (House with a triangle on top means PIZZA PARTY!!!), games, stories, and more. So grab your iPhone and wrap it in a handkerchief, tie it to a stick, and let's roll!

I'd like to take a moment to complain about the fact that I had to edit the Goodreads page. It needs to get it's shit together ASAP. Yet, I still cannot live without it.

My Thoughts on this particular matter: Sooooooo much Bieber...Soooooo sooooo much. It was awful. It was so much of the horrible. Also, there was a lot of The Hunger Games. There was a lot of pop culture references. I thought it was cool how the author swung it but still...it was a lot and all the time.

I wasn't really certain what age group this novel was written for. The main character was, as one might guess, a tween and talked a lot about things that a tween would care about; however, there was a lot of larger words. There were also concepts, references, and jokes that would only be funny for older people. It all just confused me a little bit. It was funny though, since I got most of the jokes. You really need to be up on pop culture or else you will be a little bit lost.

I thought the drawings were perfect when they were used. They were cute especially since I decided that it's for a younger audience. I really liked the different formats of writing used. There were tweets and lists and images. I liked the variety. 

The slang and text lingo was, because this novel was short, acceptable. However, the grammar mistakes were not acceptable. The question marks in the middle of sentences really freak me out. I do not like those at all. They need to be stopped before they take over the world. Trust me, if they aren't controlled than they will take over the world.

My favourite parts were (you'll need to buy the book and look them up for the laugh as I will not be quoting the pages for you) Histories Greatest Tweets, the Rowling Family Tree, and Great American Poem since it uses parts from real poems.

Sadly, this novel was mucho unrealistic...obviously, cause somebody would have been looking for the fifth grader. I also really doubt that she's manage to get away from the slammer in the same way she did. I agree with her about one thing though. School would be better if we actually learned things and travelling is a wonderful way for one to learn.

Honestly, the only reasons its a 5 out of 10 is because it was a bit too young for me and also I don't care about Justin Bieber...Plus, I feel so bad for people who are this attached to social media. I really relate to her, the main character...I can't do fractions either.

I loved that it all came together.
Plus, the acknowledgments page was cute. Man, I say cute a lot. I apologize and will go look up more words for cute right now.

So: It was cute but a little bit too young for me. I'd recommend it to someone who is, in fact, a tween. Then their parents can read it and enjoy the older people jokes. It's the perfect buy for pairs like that. It's pretty good.

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