ARC Review – His Name is Cwiz: Lessons from a Lifelong Friendship by Jeremy Rhyne

Title: His Name is Cwiz: Lessons from a Lifelong Friendship

Author: Jeremy Rhyne

Publication Date: 13 April 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

Number of Pages: 328

CwizSummary: From Goodreads: When a rattlesnake almost kills his best friend, Caesar “Cwiz” (pronounced Quiz) Ruiz, author Jeremy Rhyne can’t help but recall all of the wild times they shared growing up in Southern California — and the profound impression Cwiz has made on his life. Starting with a covert one-man band in a high school health class that had the entire room laughing, Cwiz always kept Jeremy on his toes. Through near-death experiences, Bible study pranks, a kidnapping, hijinx across Europe and Asia, crashing the OJ trial, game show dating to falling in love and finally growing up, Cwiz and Jeremy came of age together in surprising and hilarious ways.

Now Jeremy has collected all of their unbelievable stories into one book that ultimately charts Cwiz’s journey from class clown to respected and well-loved community member. His Name is Cwiz is the remarkable story of a lifelong friendship with a remarkable man — part jester, part sage — and the valuable life lessons learned along the way.

Review: Thank you to the publisher, Circuit Breaker Books, and Net Galley, for providing me with an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What do you give a person who has everything and is always gifting people amazing gifts and experiences? How about writing them a book about all of the wild times you shared together and all of the life lessons you learned from them? That’s what Jeremy Rhyne did for his friend Caesar “Cwiz” (pronounced Quiz) Ruiz in His Name is Cwiz: Lessons from a Lifelong Friendship. In this book, the author chronicles some of his favourite stories about his friend Cwiz from when they were kids, while growing up, and as adults once they both matured a bit and settled down.

To say that Cwiz has had an exciting life would be an understatement. He’s travelled the world, played countless pranks, had a successful career, made many friends, and has left a lasting impression on hundreds of people. Cwiz is loved by many people, and it seems like any time spent with Cwiz is memorable, and this book only covers a tiny fraction of those memorable moments. To a certain extent, this book felt like I was crashing a stranger’s 60th birthday party while all of their friends are giving speeches about the good times they’ve had together, which made for a strange reading experience at times. Some stories in this book made me laugh, but generally, I don’t think I’m the right audience to find most of the stories in this book funny.

What I liked most about this book is that it was about friendship and the value of having experiences and living life to the fullest. Given everything that’s going on in the world right now, this book was a nice palate cleanser. Even though I found a lot of the stories about pranks in this book to be repetitive and a bit annoying, the pranks were all good, clean fun, where no one got hurt (except a few bruised egos here and there). A lot of the stories mention church because Cwiz has been involved with the youth program at his church since he was a youth; however, none of the stories in this book are preachy, and the church is just the setting for some of the shenanigans. I also enjoyed the travel stories because it’s nice to see different parts of the world through other people’s eyes.

At the end of every story, there’s a life lesson that the author learned from his adventures with Cwiz. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the life lessons because I’m not the kind of person who hangs motivational posters on my wall, but I can appreciate the appeal of them. The life lessons in this book range from the cliché to the unusual, but overall, I think the main lessons of this book are to do the thing, take time to have experiences, and to do things for other people when you can. I enjoyed reading about Cwiz’s generosity, especially towards strangers, and I think this is the kind of book that has the power to inspire people.

Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read. I found it repetitive at times, and I’m not sure I’m the right audience to fully appreciate all of the humour, jokes, and pranks described in this book. After reading this book, it seems like Cwiz is a genuinely good person who leaves a lasting impression on everyone that he meets. I also think that writing down all of a person’s stories and turning them into a book is a unique and heartfelt gift to give someone.

Rating: 3 Stars!

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