Saturday, July 29

Rodman Philbrick - Freak the Mighty

“...remembering is a great invention of the mind, and if you try hard enough you can remember anything, whether it really happened or not.”

Max is used to being called stupid.

And he is used to everyone being scared of him. On account of his size and looking like his dad.

Kevin is used to being called dwarf.

On account of his size and being some cripple kid.

But greatness comes in all shapes and sizes, and together Max and Kevin become FREAK THE MIGHTY and walk high above the world.

An inspiring, heartbreaking, multi-award winning international bestseller.

Received with thanks in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

You know the kind of book where you have one look and you know it's going to be just phenomenal, and you pick it up and it goes on to be just that and lives up to all your expectations? Freak the Mighty belonged to that category. A tear-jerker of a story about two boys- Max and Kevin- who are total opposites, this is a lesson about friendship, acceptance and life itself. 

I never had a brain until Freak came along and let me borrow his for a while, and that’s the truth, the whole truth.

Max is an overgrown eighth grader with an LD who is feared by most because of his uncanny resemblance to his criminal father, and Kevin is a super smart eighth grader with a rare genetic disease that causes his growth to be stunted. What happens when their paths cross, and what life has in store for them is pretty much what Freak the Mighty is all about. Max and Kevin are both in extreme ends of the spectrum when it comes to size and intellect, but when they come together as Freak the Mighty, they are pretty much unstoppable- they go on quests together and take on the world, this weird and adorable pair, and you'd find yourself cheering them on with a smile on your face. 

Pain is just a state of mind. You can think your way out of everything, even pain.

I don't think I can put into words just how much I loved this story- it's real, even painfully so at times, intense, gritty and sad, with a good touch of humour throughout. The writing was easy to get into, and you'd lose no time in warming up to these characters. Narrated through Max's POV (the Mighty half of the duo), the story is very comfortably paced, with things building up brilliantly towards the end. Max's running commentary and thoughts were extremely refreshing to read, and I absolutely loved how the author painted the characters. 

The book deals with many important themes, and is a must-read for both the intended age bracket and everyone else- Max and Kevin find a kindred spirit in each other through an unlikely friendship and learn that being different isn't always bad. The overall plot was suspenseful and touching, and I'd be lying if I said the book didn't leave me nursing my broken heart. Need I say more, really? This book was a true blue gem of a classic.

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