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Customer Review

79 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hints at the ugly side of growing up, AND verifed laugh-out loud funny., November 10, 2010
This review is from: The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 5) (Hardcover)
I wish there was a separate forum for reviewing Amazon's customer service, because it's really not fair for an author to collect ten one-star reviews on its release date because people are upset that Amazon failed to deliver the book to them on time. I suppose a best-selling author like Jeff Kinney will survive, but it's still truly unfair to him. These reviews persist forever and they're supposed to be about the book.

So, on to the book! "The Ugly Truth" was laugh-out loud funny. My middle-schooler called out from the next room many times to get my attention to read the funny parts out loud to me. After she finished, I read the whole book myself before she scooped it up again to share with friends at school.

It's refreshing to finally see a comic character grow up because let's face it, puberty isn't pretty, but it is funny. Our Wimpy Kid Greg finally realizes that he is no longer a cute little kid. Now he's finding out the top secrets about puberty (which Rowley hopes not to "catch") in boys-only health class. Going to the harsh grown up dentist instead of the cuddly kids' version, Greg ends up with not only the fear of gingivitis instilled in him, but even worse, HEADGEAR. My favorite scene was the school "lock-in" that went awry in so many ways. I won't spoil the main silliness but the only way the teachers can think of to get the boys to settle down is to turn the heat off and air conditioning on so that they have to stay in their sleeping bags. Meanwhile, the girls are living the sweet life in the heated library media room.

Rowley and Greg were kept apart for much of the book, but their on-and-off friendship, and the attempts by Rowley's parents to find a more mentoring "pal" to replace Greg, were understandable, and funny.

The extended Heffley family factors into the book, featuring Greg's Uncle Gary as a much-married, possibly future version of Greg. Gary is half cautionary tale, half inspiration--in Greg's mind, compared to Greg's parents, Gary seems to be having much more fun.

I was disappointed that the Heffley boys couldn't get it together enough for their Mom to keep up her renewed school studies...that was truly a bummer. Kinney includes a few digs at helicopter parents throughout the book. I hope in the next sequel their Mom will get to stay in school.

Kids will find this book hilarious, and as an adult reader I have to applaud the little details that Kinney comes up with, such as the health teacher's unfeeling reaction to the girls who have lovingly cared for the eggs that they have to protect as though they were babies; and many small touches like Greg's hope that inheriting a textbook from a cool kid will magically make him cool too.

As an author covering middle-school mayhem, he's not just coasting--Jeff Kinney still has his touch!
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2010, 10:01:28 AM PST
Duncan R. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2010, 10:14:22 AM PST
Amy Tiemann says:
I am sorry Amazon messed up pre-order delivery, but it's just not fair to muck up the reader reviews with complaints about service, not book quality. It quickly ruins the whole purpose of the review section if you can't tell whether it's a bad book or just bad fulfillment--whether by Amazon or a third-party.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2010, 10:24:41 AM PST
Duncan R. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 10, 2010, 3:44:55 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 26, 2010, 3:44:21 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2010, 4:35:41 PM PST
Amy Tiemann says:
In a few days, the release-day delivery woes will be worked out, but six weeks or six months from now there will still be 8+ one-star reviews of this book still out there, unless Amazon removes the reviews that are not about the book content. (I had seen ten one-star reviews but now I see 8). I stand by the idea that rating customer service instead of book content is not only unfair to the author but makes the reviews section an unreliable/less useful source of information for future readers.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010, 11:34:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2010, 9:10:24 AM PST
"The Ugly Truth" was laugh-out loud funny. Well said indeed!

Excellent review! Amy!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2010, 4:34:09 AM PST
Amy Tiemann says:
Thanks, Aesop Sam! I feel like I am not getting a lot of love for this review, so I appreciate knowing that you liked it.

Posted on Nov 12, 2010, 9:11:39 AM PST
You're welcome! Amy!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2010, 11:21:49 AM PST
Pete R says:
People do not have endless free time to look at product reviews, and the first thing they see on a page of similar products is the overall rating. When that rating doesn't reflect just the quality of the product, it causes everyone to waste more time inspecting more reviews.

Since there is no solution to human stupidity, the only feasible solution (assuming Amazon cares) would be to weight reviews based on the rating of reviewers as well. In other words, if you're one of these nudnicks who gives 1 star to a product for a reason completely unrelated to the quality of the product, your weight gets dinged. This probably won't happen either, but I agree with Amy - it's totally annoying as well as unfair to the vendor.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2010, 7:58:54 AM PST
J. Jackson says:
Agreed, Amy and Pete -- finding 1-star reviews based on fulfillment is totally NOT helpful when trying to get a feel for a customer's experience with the product they bought, whether it's a book, a vacuum cleaner, or a set of dinner plates.

Pete, you're right about there being no solution to human stupidity (unless they somehow manage to pass an enforceable law against it). Here's what I do when looking at product reviews, and it seems to work pretty well:

I look at the overall star rating and how many reviews there are. Then I scroll down to the ratings breakdown chart, where they list the number of reviews per star level. Then I immediately click through the low-star ratings and skim them -- if too many of them are about fulfillment, I chalk it up to human stupidity (and write my congressman about that darn law they should pass).

I also make a point of clicking "did not find this review helpful" on those fulfillment reviews in an effort to send them to the bottom of the pile.

That doesn't help the overall star rating, but it sure makes me feel better. LOL

And maybe there are an equal number of people who leave 5-star reviews saying, "Arrived today! Thanks, Amazon! Just opened the package! Can't wait to use it!" that will cancel out the 1-star reviews for similar "non-use" of the product.
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