Book Review: How to Make Friends and Monsters

How to Make Friends and Monsters by Howard Boward (With a Little Help from Ron Bates)
Some friends are just worth making.

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Jon's Previous Review

From Amazon:
For Howard Boward, science genius, making friends in middle school is hard. The other kids have more fun creatively expanding Howard's name than actually hanging out, as in How-weird or How-Lame. . So, why not actually make a friend? A little wonder putty, some DNA, a few accidentally spilled chemicals and---boom!---instant friend. Monster friend, that is. Franklin ends up being cool in middle school, and he helps Howard climb the uber-popular ladder, becoming How-Cool. But the new fame and friendship isn't exactly everything Howard hoped. Turns out real friendship might not be so simple, even when you create your own friends from scratch.
 My (Brother's) Thoughts:

What I Liked:  It was written from a kid's point of view and showed his sarcasm.  The descriptions were realistic.  I liked the plot of the story and the writing style.  Mainly, I just liked the way the author explained things in the book with detail.

What I Didn't Like:  Sometimes things were a childish perspective.  It was an okay book, not a great book.  It seems more targeted to readers younger than me.  (Emily's note: Jon is fourteen.)  I didn't dislike much about the book; it just doesn't seem like the kind of book for me.  Fantasy-reading kids might like it better.

My Favorite Part:  Probably when he first makes the monster.  It's kinda cool.

My Favorite Person:  My favorite person would be... Franklin, the monster.  He was cool.

About the characters:  There's the main guy, Howard Boward.  He was small, considered lame and geeky.  He was smart but not very popular.  Crystal was a bratty cheerleader, and Steve was an older bully.  Franklin was a monster with the personality of Howard but a whole bunch of animal DNA.  Crystal and Steve are higher up in middle school, both in age and popularity.  They think they're better than everyone else and they have a lot of friends.  Howard doesn't think he can get them to talk to them until he accidentally makes Franklin and brings him to school as an exchange student.  Franklin makes Howard popular.  The relationships and events are pretty realistic.  Franklin's like this big monster who can do anything.

About the plot: Howard makes Franklin.  Franklin grows, goes to school, and he and Howard part from each other.  Franklin runs away, so Howard makes more monsters - which gets him in trouble.

Stars:  Four and a half.  A pretty good book that just wasn't really for me.

A DJC Communications publicist gave my brother a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are entirely his own.


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