Monday, 8 December 2014

Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb

I already had this book checked out but I didn't plan on reading until later this month. But then I saw the commercial for Lifetime's Wishin' and Hopin' movie while watching A Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever so I moved it to the top of my TBR pile.

Here is the book description:

Wishin and Hopin: A Christmas Story is a fictional novel set in 1964. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and 10-yr old Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette Funicello!) is doing his best to navigate 5th grade-easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy. But there are several things young Felix can depend on: the birds and bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he's never going to forget.

This book was so well written I had a hard time believing it was fictional. I thought for sure it had to have been on some of Wally Lamb's childhood experiences but at the end of the book he says how the stories came from other people. So I guess parts of it was somehwat true.

This novel was such a change from the usual Christian based, overly sentimental, sappy Christmas genre. It was a coming of age story that was politically incorrect, funny, and dirty. There were some dirty jokes, making out, and even do I put this? I'll just say it has to do with boys and their body parts having a mind of their own.

My favorite character in the story was Zhenya Kabakova. I loved her personality and her accent. I didn't realize Russian girls were so progressive! Madame Frechette was my least favorite character. She was annoying and obcessed with making the kids speak French.

The book builds up to this crazy play and live pictures where everyone creates a scene by posing (I can't remember the French name for them). The performance goes wrong in hilarious ways which I will not spoil.

Oddly enough there is a part that while it was funny while it was happening, it does end up being a more serious issue. The reason Madame Frechette does end up becoming their substitute is because their regular teacher has a mental breakdown because of a bat. It turns out this nun is bipolar.

This book was hilarious and great fun. I was sad when it ended. My rating Photobucket

The Movie
I did watch the movie and it was great. It kept most of the dirty jokes and political incorrectness. The actors and actresses they chose were perfect. I think it was one of the best Christmas movies I have seen in a long time. I hope it becomes a classic and is right up there with A Christmas Story. It's definately the same type of movie.

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