Review:The Oddball Chronicles by Michael Williams

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Omar Odd is the kid who sits quietly in the back of the classroom with his headphones on. He is the kid who is always picked last for every team he tries to be apart of. He is the kid who's just searching for a little bit of peace and quiet, in a world full of chaotic noise. Omar Odd is a new transfer high school student to the town of Ridgewood. He prefers to live the life of an outsider, but even outsiders find an in crowd. As Omar grows into young adulthood he finds that his life is a series of trial and error. More often than not, he finds himself on the error side of things. With wittiness, luck, questionable judgment, and the help of new found friends, Omar attempts to navigate the road of life while avoiding oncoming traffic. These are his victories, his defeats, but most importantly, his truths. These are, The Oddball Chronicles.

This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was contacted by the author and provided a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Oddball Chronicles are about new kid Omar Odd and his high school flubs, social media storms, and basically being 17 in America.

 I like the odd ball chronicles. This book was instantly intriguing to me as a Librarian because I can think of about about 4 different types of readers I can give this book to. We meet Omar, learn a bit about his past, and run straight into conflict before we know what’s happening.

While Omar is presented to us as a quiet kid who likes to fly under the radar and avoid crowds, it doesn’t take long before he’s broken the internet and starting news worth national debate over his school presentation, (that was presumably recorded by some kid from the class) on Christopher Columbus. In his speech, Omar, deviates from the information in the class textbook and explains not only did Christopher Columbus “discover” America, he stole land, slaughtered and/or enslaved those native to the country, and apparently was on board with the child sex trade??? (which is news to me and I’m going to look it up asap).

The conflict that Omar’s speech created was pretty indicative of what we see almost every day on the news and peppered throughout Social Media, I just wish we could have gone deeper down that rabbit hole. We were told that Omar’s speech sparked videos made by others, 100,000 views, and goodness knows how many comments, but I think we readers could have connected more with Omar during this backlash if we could have seen more of what he saw. Then we go to the school, and the parents reaction, to the schools reaction, was pretty confusing. That whole moment of the book was a bit touch and go for me, it felt like there were paragraphs missing, but I really liked what was there.

We migrate away from Christopher Columbus and Omar is simply trying to exist in the world and finally meets some friends! There is a motley crew of three boys and a girl, and crazy shenanigans that make you forget they’ve only knew each other for a few hours. I liked “The Crew” as they called themselves, but I’d love to see more of them, figure out who they are as individuals. Right now we have Thiago the party kid, Russ the quiet kid, Zuri the gamer girl, and Kaz the outspoken leader. I hope that as the chronicles continue, this new friendship builds, and they get in more trouble because it was a hilarious hot mess.

I would also like to shout out one of my favorite lines from the book because the imagery is just darn beautiful. “As Kaz ended his sentence I watched all of my hopes and dreams take a nosedive out of the sky and explode into heartbroken pieces of shrapnel.” Our author really knows how to paint a picture doesn’t he!

3.5 Stars

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