King of the Pygmies

December 4, 2012

By Jonathon Scott Fugua
Reviewed by Peter Ortu
Rated 2 out of 5 stars

Penn was just a normal teenager. He thought he was anyways. Then he started to hear the voices. They started to come to him quiet at first. Over time, however, they became louder. His mom, being a psychiatrist, suspects he has schizophrenia and makes him seek professional help. Knowing he’s not insane, he tries to convince his father and seeks out his alcoholic uncle who claims the voices aren’t signs of paranoia but instead an ability to read minds. Sadly, when Penn’s uncle cannot correctly guess their thoughts, both Penn and his uncle are left seeming psychotic. Penn then has to explore himself to find whether he is has superhuman abilities or is just regularly crazy.
This novel is somewhat difficult to review. There are points in which the story is quite entertaining but a decent portion of it just seems dragged on and pointless. One of the main annoyances in this book is that the main character isn’t all that likable. It’s not that he’s mean or anything. He’s just so bland that it’s difficult to enjoy him. Once done reading it, his semi-retarded brother ended up being my favorite character in the book for being the only genuine character in the book. He was the only one who I was able to understand and root for. The main character also has a romance throughout the story, but that doesn’t really matter due to how uncomfortable it is. All dialogue (especially the parts that are supposed to be “romantic”) is incredibly awkward. For the first part of the book, when the main character is trying to get the girls attention, it’s mostly just him spewing random facts about the Philippines because that’s where the girls’ parents were from. At first I thought this was supposed to be a joke and that he would end up using his whole mind reading thing to get her attention (because I guess I was just in the mood to read the Mel Gibson movie What Women Want). Turns out, to my surprise, the key to landing the girl of your dreams is to just blurt out a bunch of crap about a country neither of you have ever been too. As much as I really hated this book, I have to give credit to the author for the story. The idea of someone having to find out if they’re superhuman or insane is original and entertaining. To be honest, had the author of this book worked together with a different author to write this, I probably would have enjoyed it much more than I did. Jonathon Scott Fugua could have written the plot while someone like John Green or Michael Grant did the actual writing of it. While this book probably could entertain someone else, I just didn’t enjoy my time with this book.

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