Nate is rather ordinary, in oppose to his hair, but there's nothing wrong with that when it comes to preteen books. Nate has a few friends that annoy him and he annoys them. He has three arch enemies; a smart handsome Mr. Perfect who still likes Nate, a grade grubber and tattletale, and a yelling obtuse social studies teacher that has a last name allowing Nate to call her "Godzilla." Big Nate is actually about the same age as the Ninja Turtles, originally a comic strip, and throughout the book, with the pictures and doodles from the drawn characters, you can see how it could work as a comic book and even a scrapbook of middle school. Instead of being an entire year or a couple of months like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this book introduces us to Big Nate in general through one day, no more or less, Nate trying to fulfill his fortune through a fortune cookie (there's actually a giant story on how he got the fortune cookie; from talks about school, to searching frantically for class notes, in the process, forgetting lunch). But how will this fortune come true? Guess it's up to him.
I like it when books foreshadow something. They give you a reason to keep reading, hoping for a twist of some sort. Books are better at doing this than movies. And to tell you the truth, how Nate surpassed all others surprised me and even him. It was a moment where I couldn't believe I missed it. That being said, a lot of the book is just about Nate screwing up. I'll give it this, though; there's some very good character development, such as Nate being in love with Jenny whilst Gina is such a tattletale, even people like her (who I don't expect would read this) would hate her. Nate doesn't have a terrible life, but it shows the downs of his life in this book. A lot of it may remind you of childhood embarrassment.
The outcome of the book was a bit shallow, and even though there were quite a few surprises, there were a few things I found predictable. That being said, Big Nate is certainly funny. Read this book first if you still like books where you can read six pages in sixty seconds.