Friday, August 12, 2016

Star Wars: Jedi Academy, The Phantom Bully (#3) by Jeffrey Brown


Hilarious. Entertaining. Relatable Series!

I cannot believe this is supposedly the final book in the Star Wars Academy. I worship Jeffrey Brown for introducing Star Wars for the younger generation and this series reached its full potential in terms of storytelling and character development.

Since this is Roan's final year at the Jedi Academy Middle School, he has to focus on what he wants to major in high school, passing his exams, and has private lessons with Jedi master which is his least favorite teacher Mr. Garfield. The upside for Roan is he has friends who love and appreciate him and a girlfriend who astonishing loves his company. From Roan's past experiences attending Jedi Academy whenever moments of his life seem pure bliss somehow an event happens that screws everything up. For the most part it does happen but not to the extent compare to the previous books.

Roan still has to deal with the bullies like Cronah but some of his gang members have actually turned to good like Cyrus who used to bully Roan is now considered as a friend by the end of the book. This year will not be easy for Roan but with enough help and guidance by his teachers and peers it will be an unforgettable year.

This book is meant for middle schoolers and younger but I was in for a complete surprise as to how relatable Roan's experience was compare to my senior year of high school. In my performing arts high school, your senior year was suppose to be the year where you finally got the spotlight, since you had seniority you had bigger opportunities to showcase your art and help prepare you for auditions.

Entering my senior year, I thought this was going to be the year where I stand out in the crowd and show people my talent. I never believed I was better than anyone else because my graduating class have talent all around but for once I thought I was going to be cast to the side like in previous years. I was too optimist when it came to the vocal department and within the first month of school all my hopes and dreams fell into the garbage dump when the administration essentially screwed me over.

I fought the system with all my might and even had a parent conference (I have the utmost respect for my parents for helping me) with the principal and nothing was resolved. Between having teachers who were unable to help me with my college auditions and an lousy music administration I wanted to crawl into a hole because I felt like I was screwed over with no hope. I tried my best to make the most out of this wretched situation and in the end I have only a few enjoyable memories of my senior year.

I wasn't mad that everybody else enjoyed their senior year but I couldn't relate to anyone because they weren't experiencing what I was going through at the moment and instead of having constant fumes coming out of my ears and making me depressed I decided to read books on my own. It was the only way I could keep my sanity because I had no outlet to express myself except when I was reading and watching my favorite shows. I read about 40 books that school year and I will always be grateful that I found authors who were relatable or could illustrate a world that was different from my own.

The reason why I am describing my life in this review is because Roan experience a similar school year as me and in the end everything turned out for the better which I was glad about even though it was predictable. If they wrote the book based off from my experience then no one would read it because it would just ruined children's hopes of their potential in high school.

One thing that I love about Jeffrey Brown with this series is I could actually see the hard work put into this book and the pleasurable aspects of writing and illustrating. Sometimes it is difficult to have passion for something when it comes to your job. Between the deadlines and trying to be creative can seem like a mission but whenever I read Jeffrey Brown book I do not see his books as chores. He loves doing what he does for a living and having the pleasure of writing a book in the Star Wars universe is a dream for any Star Wars fans.

I haven't seen children reading this book and this series is extremely underrated. You have a character who is tons of faults and that resonates for children because we are constantly learning and encountering new moments in our upbringing and it may be terrifying for kids to deal with change, bullies, and growing up. I wish this book was in color but overall the illustrations are wonderful, great storylines, and great character development.

I hope Jeffrey Brown continues to write for Star Wars and it would be great to deal with this series with Roan in high school. I thought the ending was going to be related to the movies and having Roan leave Jedi Academy to avoid the Empire but it was fun to have a cute ending.

May the Force be with You always! I will miss Jedi Academy! Until next time...

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