BOOK REVIEWS

Keep Beach City Weird: You Can't Hide the Truth!!! (Steven Universe) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-07-05 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1101995157
LANGUAGE:English

"Ronaldo Fryman is Beach City's conspiracy theorist, and he certainly has a ton of material for his exposé blogs and news articles, given that he lives in the same neighborhood as a group of literal aliens and he frequently bears witness to their space battles and weird lifestyle. In his hard-hitting and humorous book, Ronaldo details monsters he's seen, discusses weird experiences he's had that he's convinced mean *something more*, and shares theories that would be debunked or partially confirmed if he'd talk to his neighbor Steven Universe without choking on lemonade once in a while.

Fans of the show will find some interesting new drawings (i.e., not every picture is recycled stills from the show), chuckle at Ronaldo's references and theories, enjoy perspectives familiar and unfamiliar, and learn a few things, all while probably rolling their eyes at this obnoxious character (without whom the show honestly wouldn't be the same).
" said.

" Definitely weirdThis was cute and hilarious. Must-read for Steven Universe fans. Especially for fans of Ronaldo's blog. (I especially liked the explanation for Frybo) " said.

"This one's a keeper for any Steven Universe fan, but not much about it will be a surprise for anyone who's paid close attention to the show. It's fun, as usual, to watch Ronaldo loudly congratulate himself for uncovering THE TRUTH (you can "hear" his voice throughout, of course), and a bunch of the references are great fun to anyone who knows what he's referring to even if the context isn't spelled out. Fans will also be treated to some new artwork! The picture of Ronaldo imagining himself in the hand of the Temple Fusion's animated form as a trusted sidekick is particularly interesting. And since Ronaldo is one of those broken clocks that's right twice a day, fans who know his schtick can't help but wonder what conveniently hidden bits are actually Ronaldo straight-up telling us the future.

The book opens with an intro from Ronaldo Fryman, who declares himself as the weirdest thing in Beach City. (The Gems are a close second, he says.) He shares his frustration over not having been able to sell his book to mainstream publishers (which has led him to self-publish it), and warns you that ads for the family fry shop will be interspersed with the content because his dad helped fund it.

He then goes right into a "Monsters" section (decorated with art of him in his horror movie outfit and Peedee in a version of the Snerson costume). The list includes Centipeetle, a Giant Bird, the Worm Monster, the Puffer Fish, "Giant Women from the Sea," the Watermelon Stevens, the Fusion Experiments, the Great North monsters, and the Crab Monster. Most of these are not creatures he should have seen, and he shouldn't have pictures, but whatever, I digress. Ronaldo theorizes that the Centipeetles could be humans bitten by a radioactive centipede or centipedes bitten by a radioactive human. He discusses the story of William Dewey being saved by a giant woman whose image bears a resemblance to the Crystal Gems' temple, and then concludes, "Probably no connection." He mentions having seen Sugilite wreck the beach gym. He brings up reports of the horrible Fusion Experiments and concludes they are zombies. He suggests the Great North monsters are a function of global warming and praises his own bravery in filming the Crab Monster for a documentary. And he also brings up his debunked "Sneeple" theory, which has been swapped for the Rock People theory. Those dang Rock People who want to kidnap Earth and bring it to the Mud Galaxy.

Ronaldo then goes into weirdness from space, detailing the Red Eye ("Vampire Spaceship"), the Rock People Space Program (based on Pearl's failed ship from "Space Race") the Plug Robonoids (which he thinks are an attempt to play space pinball), the Hand Ship (which he knew exactly what that was), the shirt that hit him in the head from "Shirt Club," and crop circles (like in "Joy Ride").

And then Ronaldo covers "Local Weirdness," starting with a double page about the Crystal Gems and then moving on to outline the Cat Fingers incident (with speculation on what causes "Cat Finger Fever"), the Frybo incident (was it all Ronaldo's fault for exploring tuber-based witchcraft?), the Oldest Man in the World incident (from "So Many Birthdays"), Lion sightings, Lars's fire breath, Guacola, and . . . Onion.

Next, Ronaldo gives you a tour of all the Weird Places, beginning with Funland Arcade (with a handy guide of moves you can use if you play "Teens of Rage"!), and taking you around to Race Mountain, the Abandoned Warehouse, Brooding Hill (with an included guide of things to brood about), the many-holed cliff (which he calls a Gnome City), and the Lighthouse.

And then, the "Times It Got Really Weird" section details the flowers from Rose's moss in "Lars and the Cool Kids" (did you know they were produced by cloud seeding?), the mountain of duplicated G.U.Y.S. from "Onion Trade," the disappearing ocean from "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem," the blackout incident from "Political Power," Peridot's interrupting broadcast, the Great Diamond Authority, and Cluster Quakes.

And he closes everything with a "Weirdilogue" and encourages you to keep your own town weird.

Some gems:

"Like most bad stories, this one started at a farmer's market."

"I guess that's the danger of genetically engineered food: It might punch you in the face."

"Beach Citywalk Fries. We promise to NEVER bring out that Frybo costume again."

"What's scarier than a beach ball? Well, I guess a lot of things. . . ."

Ronaldo discussing an experience that was either food poisoning or accidentally eating deep-fried wood.

The Zombie Apocalypse Flow Chart which always leads to "Lock myself in lighthouse and prepare to watch the world I know crumble before me."

Ronaldo pointing out that the shirt that hit him in the head from an extraterrestrial source should be a size extra large next time, not youth medium.

"They have a cool home base in an ancient magical temple. My base is a lighthouse that I'm not legally allowed to occupy."

After an entire paragraph outlining how gross Guacola is, Ronaldo heartily encourages you to pick up a can of it while visiting Beach City.

"[M]y favorite – Teens of Rage. Probably because I am a teen who is full of rage at a world that doesn't know how to pronounce "manga."

"Race Mountain, AKA the Devil's Backbone, AKA the Devil's Laundry Chute, AKA the Devil's Poorly Planned Highway, AKA Old Man Carwreck's Road, AKA Municipal Maintenance Route 64!!!!"

"I took a picture of it, which Lars really did not want published. Check it out."

Ronaldo speculates that maybe the moon has its own moon.

Notable for fans:

1. The book is dedicated "For Jane, My Ohimesama." I sure hope they're on speaking terms again after what happened in "Restaurant Wars."

2. Ronaldo gives the Crystal Gems his own names, referring to them as Square Head, Princess Nose, and Purple Girl.

3. When covering the fire breath incident from "Joking Victim," Ronaldo refers to Lars as "Local sarcasm dispenser Lars Barriga." Looks like we have a last name for Lars now.

4. The page about Onion's weirdness details an interaction that did not happen in the show but explains one that did: The ketchup packets that he famously ran over with his scooter in "Onion Trade" were begged from from Ronaldo one day. Onion offered a photo of Ronaldo in third grade in exchange. (???)

5. Funland was apparently established over a century ago under the name Frederick Ulysses Neptune's Land of Mechanical Oddities and Entertainment. The entry also mentions that it contained a future-telling robot, a reference to "Future Boy Zoltron."

6. An apparent contradiction: Ronaldo, while discussing the video game Teens of Rage, identifies with the game because he is a teen who has rage. This would make him at the oldest nineteen if he is a teen. But in the section on the Lighthouse, he refers to the Beach City Explorer Club he had in his childhood with Lars, and claims that "fifteen years later" they had an incident there with the Lighthouse Gem. If it was fifteen years later but he's no older than nineteen, that happened when he was four, and that's impossible; he was far older than four in the flashback scene with Lars.

7. In a note to cover his butt from the Labor Department, Ronaldo suggests his brother is just a really short eighteen-year-old to distract from the fact that the family business is most likely exploiting him in child labor.

8. In his bit about "Teens of Rage," Ronaldo tells you about special moves for his favorite character, Gary Sunglasses. I think this is a contradiction to the episode "Arcade Mania" because while Steven is trying to teach Garnet how to play the game, he narrates that he thinks she's "a Joe Rock kinda gal," and the same character is pictured on the choosing screen.

9. Ronaldo refers to Stevonnie as "the mysterious Racer S." while discussing the greatest race he ever saw at Race Mountain. Not sure where he got "S." from, especially since he appears to have been in attendance at Stevonnie's first appearance at the rave in "Alone Together" and presumably witnessed their unfusion.

10. Other wrestlers besides those shown in the wrestling episodes are introduced in a promo flyer. We now have After School Champion Assistant Principal Gene McCormick, Culinary Tag Team Champions Baste Face and the Iron Saucier, Women's Caped Crusader Champion Tina "Ten Fingers" Gonzales, X-Treme League Champion Presented by Guacola The Ocean Town Kid, Interdimensional Champion of the Multiverse Glossy Wayne, and Old Timey Senior League Tag Team Champions Sarsparilla Frank and the Colonial Terror.

11. When talking about how to brood properly, Ronaldo refers to his hair as his "frylocks." Ha.

12. The lighthouse was apparently constructed two hundred years ago to keep people away from Beach City, not to help the ships be guided in. This might be one of the true things in the book. Who knows?

13. In "explaining" Peridot's broadcast that happened during "Cry For Help," Ronaldo comments that Peridot called herself Peridot, but that it is actually pronounced "Peridot." (It isn't discussed exactly what he means here, but he's surely making reference to the fact that the more common pronunciation of "peridot" does not have the T pronounced, even though the show uses the version where the T IS pronounced.)

14. Ronaldo, while explaining the Great Diamond Authority to us, assigns the Diamonds' underlings into a strict hierarchical society made up of the classes Chalk, Slate & Granite, Rock Candy, and Clods.

15. Ronaldo terms the earthquakes from the beginning of Season 3 to be "Cluster Quakes" because they came in clusters. Fans will know that they actually did come from a giant mutant Gem Fusion buried in the Earth which is called the Cluster.
" said.

July 2017 New Book:

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