Not a graphic novel, not just an epistolary novel. A fully illustrated novel, told in diary, conversations, IMs and more, HAPPYFACE by Stephen Emond (Little Brown, 2010) examines several months in the life of teenager whose life has not been exactly a happy one. His parents' separation mean a fresh beginning in a new school. Time for a bot of reinvention. Enter Happyface, a young man who does not let anyone see his insecurities, fears, emotions. Maybe he can start all over again. At first, Happyface's life is looking a bit cheerier. However, is it ever possible to forget your past?
With cartoons, sketches, portraits, comics, and other illustrations Emond creates a narrative that extends well beyond the words on the page. Slowly, the real story unravels. We come to understand what else has occurred to lead Happyface to his current situation. Nothing is angsty or overinflated emotionally. Instead, it is the understatement that really drives this story deep into the mind and hearts of readers.
The eye is less swollen and much more colorful today. Should be a hot at Mother's Day brunch. I did manage to get a hair cut today. We are preparing for our annual trip to the VI for our anniversary. I am looking forward to time to read plus some quiet time to work on classes and an online book club for READING LADDERS as well. Summer looms. It was in the 90s today. Soon, we will be living in our igloo houses trying to stay cool. Can vacay be far away?