First off, the title of this series is a misnomer. Greg does not seem to be a particularly wimpy kid. He is merely not one of the popular group. That’s not the same as being the class wimp. I was hoping for a mini-me – you know, the uncoolest in the class, weediest, always chosen last in PE, the most likely to be made fun of, only tolerated because sitting next to a nerd has its advantages, etc – and instead was fobbed off with this travesty of a wimp. Rather than Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this should have been called Diary of a Selfish Idiot with no Integrity or Loyalty. Because that’s really what Greg Heffley is.
The way he treats Rowley is absolutely appalling. With a friend like Greg, who needs enemies? In fact, I’d say Rowley fits the description of “wimpy kid” a lot more. And he is much more likeable.
Now for the story itself. It’s written in an interesting way, and in some ways, reminds me of the first Clarice Bean novel. Except, of course, that Clarice is a very likeable character, whereas Greg is definitely not. There are parts that I chuckled at, but nothing laugh-out-loud. Kinney writes in an engaging and humorous way, but that’s still not enough to detract from the fact that Greg is an absolute jerk. There were no major plots to speak of, more just small narratives, no climax to the story or anything like that.
I feel really let down, you know. From the T-shirts, you’d think Greg is something a lot different from what he turns out to be. I’d have to give this 3/5 for the good writing. If only Greg wasn’t such a detestable character, who gets worse with every book, this could have got a 5/5.