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Being A Hefty, Deaf Newcomer Almost Makes Will Halpin The Least Popular Guy At Coaler High But When He Befriends The Only Guy Less Popular Than Him, The Dork Namic Duo Has The Smarts And Guts To Figure Out Who Knocked Off The Star Quarterback Will Can T Hear What S Going On, But He S A Great Observer So, Who Did It And Why Does That Guy Talk To His Fingers And Will The Beautiful Girl Ever Notice Him Okay, So Will S Interested In Than Just Murder Those Who Prefer Their Heroes To Be Not So Usual And With A Side Of Wiseguy Will Gobble Up This Witty, Geeks Rule Debut From The Hardcover Edition Digital audiobook performed by Jim Meskimen This is a humorous coming of age story with a bit of a mystery thrown in and featuring an unlikely hero Will Halpin is deaf, overweight and struggling to make friends in his new school He s left the safety of deaf school and chosen to mainstream at the local public high school, but the teachers can t or won t get the hang of always facing him so he can read lips He is a skilled observer, however, and he jots his notes on his fellow students and teachers in a notebook His one friend is the uber dork Devon Smiley, and when the school s quarterback and all around jerk falls down a mine shaft on a school field trip, they channel the Hardy Boys to investigate I m glad to see a book that features a main character with a disability, who finds ways to deal effectively in a world that doesn t always made accommodations for him Will and Devon also have to deal with the usual drama of high school bullies, the in crowd vs the nerds, teachers who don t really care, unrequited love, and the universally hated showers after gym class It s a fast read, and I loved Will Devon s humor.Jim Meskimen does a fine job of narrating the audio version He set a good pace and I was quickly caught up in the story line. Somewhere around a quarter of the way in, I decided to switch from the audio to the print version of this book The narrator is actually very good, but hearing him tell me the story out loud just felt wrong However, I didn t really have another audiobook to hold my hand through the torture of morning exercise read I only had ten or eleven so I just kept listening to this one And, instead of fast forwarding, I felt compelled to re listen to all the words I had just read with a giant goofy grin on my face Thanks to this audiobook, the morning people of my neighborhood now think that I am an unstable loony person, prone to guffaws of laughter at 6am whilst all alone So essentially, I read this book twice and enjoyed every minute This book is absolutely hilarious But now I feel the need to qualify that, because I know that this type of humor is not for everyone The humor is dry, cynical, silly, and juvenile It spoke to my inner misfit, my inner quiet person, and my inner thirteen year old boy It spoke to the part of me that loves to people watch, that still laughs at boob jokes, that once spent a whole summer holed up and reading Nancy Drew mysteries After making the decision to leave his deaf school behind and go mainstream, Will Halpin finds himself within the segregated and competitive society of Carbon High As the only deaf kid with the physique of a sedentary manatee and lower middle class parents, Will Halpin doesn t exactly fit in He doesn t stand out either He s like an anthropologist observing a new society as an outsider, labeling and cataloguing the behaviors of his peers to hilarious effect without ever engaging The only attention that he seems to get is from the ever positive Devon Smiley, who has a fondness for nacho cheese, grammar, and his awesome ponytail Unfortunately, being associated with Devon only seems to attract the wrong sort of attention, as football star Pat Chambers and his cronies begin to bully him Now, I have to admit that I am 100% unequipped to tell you whether or not this is an accurate portrayal of the deaf experience I have been a hearing person all my life, and I don t have any close friends or family that I can ask However, what I can tell you is that Will Halpin is a full bodied stop snickering Will , completely well realized person. At no point does he feel like a mouthpiece and at no point does this feel like an issue book And yet, Will s deafness is never forgotten It is an integral part of his life, both a challenge and a gift It separates him from everyone, even his parents, who are overprotective, but seem to tiptoe around his lack of hearing ability Only Devon, completely without artifice or social skills, is able to dive into Will s world and breach his barrier of cynical humor In this story, Will s hearing is not a handicap, it is a skill It allows him to see his fellow classmates in a unique and insightful way When a possible murder strikes the school, Will and Devon may be just the crack team of dorks needed to solve the meeeeestery I was surprised at just how much Will s experience echoed my own, but I guess I shouldn t be Part nerdy coming of age story, part historical mystery, and part murder investigation complete with folders labeled TOP SECRET and fake beards , this book is a celebration of misfits everywhere My only complaints are that the mystery solution was a little flat, and that I would have loved to seeof Ebony.Perfect Musical PairingWeezer Only in DreamsThis book made me realize that there is a whole side of music that I will probably never be able to experience And not just music what must it be like to read a book as a prelingually deaf person I wish that I could know Do the words have shape and movement rather than sound This song has a strong base line and percussion, which can be felt if you turn it up This is one nerdy boy s ode to the girl in his dreams. Recently I was discussing YA literature with some of my GR friends and I decided to check out my YA shelf Don t let the low count on my read shelf fool you, I do read quite a bit, but as some of you might know and many of you don t I only rate and review books that I actually finished, the ones I do not finish I simply delete from my shelves Now, sometimes I will make myself finish a book even though it s a definite wall banger, that way I can really appreciate a well written or a great written one There are a lot of books that I don t finish, and a large number of those are in fact YA books Why Well I find that many of the YA books are badly or, at best, mediocrity written and it irks me to no end to see that so many YA authors underestimate the YA readers Just because they are young doesn t mean they are stupid and can t spot a well written book when they read one Give them some credit will ya Anyway, I saw that I have over 100 YA books on my to read shelf, so naturally I decided to read one and put a tiny dent in my YA pile Hmmm.what to choose, what to read There are so many YA books Should I read a humorous YA, a contemporary perhaps, or a romance Adventure Ahaaa.how about a genre bending YA story The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is genre bending story about a very perceptive, smart, hearing impaired, chubby high school guy William Halpin who transfers from his deaf school to a mainstream high school The transfer isn t easy for Will He has no friends and he s kind of desperate to make some He s trying to keep up with his classes by lip reading teacher s lectures, but the teachers aren t very helpful you actually need to see people s lips to read them While chatting with people online did you ever find yourself in a situation where you re not sure if someone is being rude, sarcastic, or funny You see a person s post and you realize it can be taken in so many different ways, but since you can t actually see that person their facial expressions and you can t hear the tone of that person s voice, you can t really be sure what they meant Do we even realize how much we rely on those things while conversing with others Will doesn t have that privilege He is extremely perceptive, he watches people and then records his observations in his notebook, those are his personal psychological profiler notes.Now, I did say that this is a genre bending YA story.it s a coming of age story, social satire and a murder mystery all in one Will and his new friend, a goofy looking and funny talking kid named Smiley, are trying to solve a murder and at the same time deal with school, girl obsessions and teen age stuff It s a very fun book Funny thing is, while reading The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin I pictured Will as Seth I love SuperbadAnd Smiley is kind of Fogelish with a ponytail especially in the gunfire situation they get themselves in.yeah there s actually some gunfire in the book.In order to like a book many readers often need to identify with the character at least in some way , and while I m not that kind of a reader I did find that I can relate to some of the stuff Will is going trough looking for acceptances from his peers, teenage infatuation with a person who doesn t give a rat s ass about you, et crapera ups, sorry I guess Will s expressions are quite catchy, I meant et cetera.anyone who was a teenager can.I wish thatYA writers would focuson good writing and quality character development and less on fancy covers and ever present love triangles they so love to insert in their books The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin didn t exactly blow me away, but it was a great fun to read Well done Josh Berk, well done.as a matter of fact, very well done my good man hmm, I guess Smiley s expressions are catchy too. Will Halpin decides to opt out of the political issues at his deaf school and go mainstream At the mainstream school he will have to use his lipreading skills to get by, but he doesn t mind because his ability allows him to drop some eaves on other people s conversations In the first week he finds himself in love with the most popular girl in school, but on the bottom run of the social ladder By the second week a mysterious death of a student in the very coal mine where one of Will s long lost relatives died sparks an intensive investigation by Will and his only new friend at the school the social pariah Devon The book is funny Will s written observations of the silent world around him are hilarious, but when he combines with Devon it just gets better and better and smart it plays with narrative The first week sets everything up for us so when the the book turns into a mystery in the second part it s not jarring The pieces of the mystery come together quickly, but in a way that make sense for the characters Putting the book down once you ve picked it up is the hardest thing about reading it.Though the main characters make a lot of references to the Hardy Boys, this is NOT a wholesome Hardy Boys read There is an edge of the sharp reality of being a real american teenager underneath the cartoony cover that gives the book gravity.