Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
First edition hardcover
|Series||Diary of a Wimpy Kid|
|Genre||Child, Young Adult|
November 5, 2013 (United States)
|Media type||Print (paperback, hardcover)|
|Preceded by||The Third Wheel|
|Followed by||The Long Haul|
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck is a children's novel written by Jeff Kinney and the eighth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The book's existence was announced at the end of the previous book in the series, The Third Wheel. Hard Luck was released on November 5, 2013 in the United States with a print run of 5.5 million copies and on November 6 in the United Kingdom, where it had a printing of 800,000 copies.
Despite Susan's words about "friends will come and go but family is forever", Greg has been doubting that, since he was ditched by Rowley, who has been hanging out with Abigail, who is his new girlfriend. Ever since the two became a couple, Rowley has been acting more wealthy and starts to forget about Greg. Greg has noticed that Abigail has hated Greg and so she tries to drive a wedge between Greg and Rowley.
Greg has then gotten bored without Rowley, and there was no way he would do chores for Susan. So Greg tries getting new friends, and he ends up with Fregley, who has been only going around through the newest "Find A Friend" station. Greg got Fregley help him with his backpack, only to be chased by a group called the Mingo Kids, which lead to Fregley tossing out Greg's Books for school at the Mingo kids so they can read them and stop. The Next Day, Greg and Fregley try to impress the girls during lunch, but Fregley got his shirt stuck, and when he finally got it out, his tricks by chewing gum with his belly button, Fregley instead blew a bubble at the girls. Despite that, Fregley becomes popular among the other kids to see what could Fregley chew.
Susan one day announces to the Heffleys that her family will come to town for Easter, which totally blindsided Greg and his dad, Frank. So on Easter, the Heffleys went straight from Church to Gramma's house. Soon the day becomes a disaster after a lookout for Great grandma Meemaw's ring. The next day, Greg finds an old Magic 8 Ball from Rodrick when he was a kid, and has since used to do choices.
Greg decides to join the Yearbook Club, and got the job to do the pictures for the "Candids" page. Greg got many pictures as he could (even though some of them were random) and he got fun for editing the pictures, like adding humor to the pictures or get revenge on his rivals by shrinking their heads by 75%. A few days later, Greg got to take the pictures for the Class Favorite candids. Fregley won for "Most Popular", which surprised Greg, but he got to suffer when he took pictures of Rowley and Abigail, who won for "Cutest Couple".
To avoid summer school (mainly because of Fregley who tossed Greg's books before), Greg joins in a bunch of teenagers to get a project for Science at a Bunker. However, The Teenagers pressured Greg to make a decision and he lied that he forgot his money, leading to an escape. The teenagers were later on tipped off by a teacher and were sent to Detention and Summer School. On Wednesday, Greg discovers that Abigail only hung out with Rowley just to make her former boyfriend Michael be jealous for cheating on her in Third Wheel, with Rowley finding it harsh. Thanks to Susan, who typed Greg's Science paper, Greg handed his Science assignment and enjoyed himself at school. Greg decided to hide the Egg with Meemaw's ring on the closet, and Greg and Rowley finally went back as Friends during Lunch, making Greg realize Susan's words about Family being forever could be true.
Plans for an eighth entry in the series were announced in the final pages of 2012's The Third Wheel. Teaser artwork for the then-unnamed book was released in March 2013, which depicted central character Greg Heffley holding an umbrella while Magic 8-Balls fall around him. On August 8, 2013 the book's cover and official title, Hard Luck, was revealed, along with the release date of November 5, 2013. Kinney also announced that he would begin a book tour that same month to encourage pre-sales of the book.
Kinney later stated that he found it challenging to write for one of the book's characters, Rowley's girlfriend Abigail, as she was "meant to be a placeholder for a girlfriend rather than a fully developed character" and that "It was a little tricky trying to figure out how to write for a character that hardly has any dialogue and not much of a personality. She's just a stand-in for a threat to Greg's and Rowley's friendship."
Booklist gave a positive review for Hard Luck, commenting that "Kinney strikes his comic target in the bull’s-eye, exaggerating the trials of adolescence just enough to make them real while deftly exposing the insecurities behind Greg’s bravado with his super, simple drawings". Publishers Weekly wrote that the book's formula was similar to Kinney's prior books and that fans of the series would likely enjoy this one as well.
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- Page, Benedicte. "Penguin's record print run for latest Wimpy Kid". The Bookseller. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- "Jeff Kinney’s best friend is a ‘Wimpy Kid’". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
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- Minzesheimer, Bob (8 August 2013). "Narrator hits 'Hard Luck' in eighth Wimpy Kid book". USA Today. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
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- RENAUD, JEFFREY. "JEFF KINNEY SHARES SECRET ORIGIN OF "DIARY OF A WIMPY KID"". CBR. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Hard Luck (review)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 11 November 2013.