The Stereotypical Freaks

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Member Reviews

This was really, really good. A book about four teenage boys from very different friend groups coming together to form a band, took a surprisingly serious and heart-wrenching turn. I loved seeing the group come together and become even stronger through hardships. It’s a story that really makes you think about life and our limited time on this earth. I surely didn’t expect to be taking that away from this story, but I’m very glad that I was able to.
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I loved this book. The suggested soundtrack really enhanced the story. Watching these four transcend their stereotypes doing something they love is an inspiration for misfits everywhere.
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I don't really know what to say about this graphic novel, other than that I was mostly bored reading it. The synopsis sounded nice enough, but the story itself didn't pull me in at all. I think the art work is a large factor in that, because due to the lack of colouring, the panels seemed unfinished, and it felt like reading a messy draft.
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I wasn't sure what this was going to be about when I picked it from NetGalley but I'm really glad that I did. This comic is about Tom and Dan. They play music in Tom's basement for fun but Dan wants to add more members to their jam sessions to make a full fledged band. Tom is against that, he just likes to play music for fun. But when the high school that they go to announces a Battle of the Bands, Tom and Dan end up signing up, before they have the other members of their band! Tom is tutoring Mark who they find out also plays the guitar and Dan finds Jocoby who plays the drums. They go through a few different issues (no spoilers!) before they get to the Battle of the Bands but ultimately they become closer as friends. The description of this book says that one of the characters ends up having life changing news and that is very true. I honestly didn't think I would get super attached to these characters in such a short period of time but I really did and I might have teared up at the ending. No spoilers here but it was very sad even if it was very well written. I would recommend this for anyone that is a fan of music (the chapters have a guide as to what you should listen to as you are reading them - pretty interesting!) or a fan of high school drama type comics.
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The Stereotypical Freaks is a bittersweet tale about four high school kids who come together and form a band in order to play in a competition. Interestingly enough, there was a lot of stereotypical character selection, as well as   not a lot of talk like you would hear from teens. Sounded more like adults. But it worked. Midway through the story turns on its ear and the entire perspective of the story changes dramatically. 
What did not work for me was the black and white. The cover is bold in great color to be sure. But turn the page and everything goes flat. I am sure adding color would be costly, but I think it would be worth it and bring this book up to the next level.
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Stereotypical Freaks tells the story of Tom and Dan, two friends who start a band in order to enter the Battle of the Bands in their high school. They're both generally geeky and intelligent, but lack many friends. Thus, they're two people short of a full band in order to enter the contest. Enter Mark, aka Marcell, Tom's ex-friend and current football star. He joins the band along with Jacoby, a foreign exhange student from Canada who is hiding a secret of his own. 

Overall I thought this was a heart-wrenching graphic novel and coming of age story. The band calls themselves The Stereotypical Freaks as that's what high school is all about, finding your group and getting stereotyped based on the one thing everyone knows about you. They're able to put their assumptions about one another aside to move on and come together as a band, until there is a massive emotional plot twist near the end. 

I wasn't a big fan of the art, black and white art styles don't appeal to me, but it was well done and represented the characters well. If you're looking for a good emotional tale for someone in the teen to college age range, I think this would be an excellent recommendation.
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The Stereotypical Freaks was a heart warming read about true trfriendship, andand realizing mistakes before it's too late. 

I loved the story, and though the graphics weren't all that eye catching, the story more than made up for it. 

Though Tom was clearly the protagonist, I think Jacoby played the most important role in the story, and he was my favourite character too!

Overall, The Stereotypical Freaks was a sweet, relatable read (for me) and I enjoyed reading it. (Except when it made me tear up.)
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This was an amazing, amazing, amazing book that quite literally brought me to tears in a public place as I read it. Which for me, is  a hard thing to do. I'm not going to go completely into depth, as I did already on my blog here:  if you want to read it. But I seriously cannot believe how good this book is, and way ahead of it's time too. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book 5/5 stars hands down.
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"Life after eighteen sucks"... Dennis Leary once said, and I'd amend that slightly to also include " life before eighteen as well".
The story takes place in a typical High School (East Slade), where everyone is stereotyped in their roles and personalities. Dan (a geek)  and Tom (a smart kid) are best friends and a part of their two-member basement band. When a Battle of the Bands is announced at school Dan want to take part, but Tom doesn't because they don't have a lead guitarist and a drummer. This is where the other characters are introduced, Marcel "Mark", a football star and Jacoby (a weird foreign exchange student). Together they make a band called "The Stereotypical Freaks". Because they are stereotyped at school and freaks because they are not what their labels dictate.
                                                                        "These labels don't define us"
When one of the members reveals a life-changing secret, winning the competition takes on a whole new meaning.
I LOVED the book. It was a normal life comic about four teenagers who are sensitive and are not afraid to show it. When I started to read this book, I thought it would be a fun quick read. I was wrong. I was happy everyone got what they wanted at the end, but it was an emotional journey, for the characters in the book as well as the readers. It was a different kind of comic than I usually read, but it was exceptional in its own way.
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I initially picked this title to read because friendship themed graphic novels are very popular with my middle school students (Invisible Emmy, Smile/Sisters, Real Friends, etc.).  While friendship is a strong theme in this novel, it gets overwhelmed quickly when the subject of childhood illness and mortality is introduced.  This makes the book heavier than it would appear from the cover, but not less appealing.  Just different.
I really like that each chapter has a recommended playlist, but most of my students will be unfamiliar with the majority of the songs/artists.  Bob Dylan, Soul Asylum, Rush, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, The Ramones, Green Day, and the Beatles are all mentioned.  
The illustrations are well done, though I do wish they were in color.
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A nice story about a group of teenagers forming a close knit friendship over a shared love for music. The story has a touching emotional thread throughout the second half which begs the question 'What is really important in life?'. The story is mostly well paced and the art is simple but effective. Each chapter starts with a few recommended music tracks to listen to, which I thought was a very nice touch! Well worth reading.
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This story was sweet and beautifully written! I enjoyed that it dealt with hard topics but also had the fun spirit of a graphic band novel I was looking for. It was quick, but the design was absolutely beautiful— and the message is perfect for youths dealing with difficult topics and adjusting socially. Other added bonus: the song recommendations for each chapter! Well done!
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Actual Rating: 3.5 stars!

A music graphic novel! This is a first for me, and it didn’t disappoint. This is my third read from Animal Media Group and Howard Shapiro, and it really messed with me emotionally— although I don’t know what I expected, because I had a feeling something bad was going to happen to one of our main characters. No spoilers. Let’s dive in.

The Stereotypical Freaks follows the (mis)adventures of four high school boys teaming up despite their differences to compete in a Battle of the Bands. The sole thing they all have in common is music— otherwise, they’re a nerd, an outcast, an athlete, and a new kid in town. They’re headed up by Tom, the aforementioned nerd, who has an affinity for power rock and is also the main character of a few other Howard Shapiro novels. He decides to enter the Battle of the Bands with his best friend (the outcast) and later two others. At first, his motivations for joining the competition are to win over the girl he likes, but this story becomes about so much more than impressing a girl.

I’d actually say it’s more of a found-family story? I’m a sucker for fiction about bands, maybe because I’m a musician myself or maybe just because there’s something about creating art with other people that creates a really strong sense of brotherhood. Each of the four guys was dealing with their own stuff, and there was appropriate narrative weight given to each of the characters— although Tom was our main character, and that was accessible and clear. The drummer, Jacoby, ends up becoming very important in the third act of the story. That’s around when the themes start hitting heavier.

Because this is a story about uniting with people who aren’t just like you for a common purpose. It’s a story about finding people in high school, which is a confusing and often socially hellish time, especially for people who aren’t super popular (that’s ¾ of the band, if we’re keeping tabs). They play music, laugh together, and support each other. I was in a band in high school too, and though we weren’t as prolific, we had to work together, and those things rang realistically for me in the content of this story.

This graphic novel is entirely in black and white, or at least the e-version I downloaded was. I wasn’t sure about that at first, but I actually ended up really enjoying the art style. The story is aesthetically pleasing, and the lack of color makes for a nice down-to-Earth, rock and roll feel. The best pages by far in the story are those when we see the band playing, usually without any dialogue. There are music staffs and notes incorporated into the drawings, and the guys always look so happy. There’s this one shot as they’re walking to the stage at the Battle of the Bands where they kind of look like astronauts getting ready to board the shuttle. I literally said “wow, this is cool” out loud.

So, yeah. The Stereotypical Freaks won my heart. But also kind of broke my heart, because of the nature of the ending. Be prepared for a heartfelt story about friends, but also maybe be prepared to cry. It’s hard to deal with tough issues well, and Jacoby has a lot going on— which is heavy on the plot, but needs to be treated as such. He’s a blessing and I love him. End scene.
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The friendship the boys forged was uniquely depicted and painfully sincere, despite their differences music brought them together. Jacoby's storyline was the one that truly tugged at my heart strings; Shapiro once again delivers a great read, one that would work well for yound adults, with an excellent choice of music that covers the range of emotions the reader goes through whilst reading this graphic novel.
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This book was really good! I cried at the end ;-;;;;

I liked the love-hate relationship with Jaelithe (i THINK thats how its spelled) and Tom. But I really didn't expect to cry.
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Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this as much as I was hoping. The story and the art style have potential but it was so difficult to read without colour. I've seen light and shade used with great success in black and white graphic novels, but there just wasn't much of that success here. Ultimately I was left with some eye strain and vague irritation, and I wish it had been easier to read.
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This was a fun graphic novel. Probably best for young teens or middle grade readers. I loved the art style.
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Book Review
Title: The Stereotypical Freaks (Forever Friends Trilogy #1)
Author: Howard Shapiro
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: *****
Review: The opening to the Stereotypical Freaks was great, we are introduced to Tom, Dan and their other friends who are all into music and are part of a band. Tom’s favourite songs are Bara O’Riley and Ruby SoHo which are both amazing songs. Tom has a major crush on Jaelithe but given this graphic novel is set in high school she obviously end sup dating more on her social level which isn’t Tom. 
As we approach the ¼ mark in the story, Dan suggests entering Battle of the Bands, but Tom points out that they are two men short of a band as they don’t have a drummer or lead guitarist. However, Dan says he knows of someone who plays the drums, his name is Jacoby a foreign exchange student, but even then, Tom is hesitant about doing it but goes with the flow for now. I really liked the facts that at the beginning of each chapter it recommends some songs you should listen to and all of them are amazing. Tom despite being a smart boy and a good hockey player decides to tutor another student who just happens to be his old best friend and star football play Mark or Marcell as he used to be called. While the interaction is strange it is nice to see that Marcell hasn’t forgotten they used to be friends and acted like a typical jerk towards him, a very refreshing take.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the story, Tom has signed up for the battle of the bands but only because Jaelithe’s current boyfriend’s band has signed up, but they still have the problem of finding a lead guitarist and a drummer, but this is soon resolved when Jacoby and Marcell agree to practice with them. 
As we approach the halfway mark in the story, circumstances allow the four boys; Dan, Tom, Marcell/Mark and Jacoby to become a band but working out a practice schedule with the competition only three months away is proving to be a little hard. This is due to Jacoby’s medical treatments but only Tom knows about this so far, coupled with school, after school groups and practices none of the boys have much free time but I have a feeling it is going to work very well.
As we cross into the second half of the story, the boys decide to name their band the stereotypical freaks which suits them as they all fit a specific stereotype. However, we also learn the true nature of Jacoby’s illness and I wasn’t expecting it and it damn near killed me, but the band is something he enjoys and something he wants to do despite what he is living with.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the story, this story is turning out to be much deeper and darker than I first thought, and I was loving it. It tackles many things like being different whether that is race or religion. It also tackles bullying, peer pressure, living with terminal illness, coming from a broken home and so much more. Despite being a graphic novel about boys in a band it is so much more than that and it is so relatable.
As we cross into the final section of the story, the battle of the bands has arrived. The boys as expected performed very well but things take a dramatic turn after the end of the competition. I would highly recommend the Stereotypical Freaks and will be jumping straight into The Hockey Saint very soon.
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This was quite well done. I enjoyed the graphics of this book. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
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I've been devouring graphic novels like crazy in the last few months. 
This one was short but sweet. Interesting story and quite emotional but I really disliked art style and couldn't get used to it so I couldn't give it 5 stars
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