R- 1-2 absolutely nothing happens in the book, but a prior rape is implied.
This book has an identity crisis.
On the one hand it's a fun, whimsical tale of ZingZongLand, where the inspiration is found for all things sweet.
On the other hand, it's a dark dark story of rape, abuse, hatred, kidnapping and murder. I mean, when the main character is a traumatized boy who refers to his father as "the Beast" and plans to kill him? Not exactly cotton candy and bubblegum.
Which would concern me less if it didn't say it's a Juvenile Fiction. But that's what it says. I'm cool with books being dark, but I'd put the age range a bit higher on this one.
My copy needs serious editing. I've mentioned before that that drives me nuts, right? Absolutely insane. Blame it on copy-editing in high school.
Aside from that, which is an editing/publishing issue, not a content issue, I think this is too complex for a younger audience. Heck, I'm an adult and I had a hard time keeping it all straight. It honestly left me a little confused. It's also too long for a young audience.
And while I absolutely LOVE cool quotes at the beginning of chapters, they're really out of place in a JF.
Anyway, on to what I liked, 'cause there were parts I really enjoyed.
I really really liked some of the characters. Especially the Pursiers. (Interesting, two-legged animals that are highly philosophical and deal with transportation and sending messages.) I want an Albertson. Here's a great exchange between him and Hampton, the minister Albertson works for:
Isn't he adorable? I rather wish the other Pursiers that featured (the Ancient and Orison) had had a bigger role.
"Only the best for the best? Is that right, Albert?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes."
"Let's go, before we both trip and fall over our inflated egos," Hampton said, looking straight up at the towering Pursier. "We'll try it your way but it better not involve the slightest possibility of falling."
"Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall."
Don't get smart. And please spare me the philosophizing for a while."
A word of warning? This book will seriously ruin a diet! All of the candy descriptions? Yeah, I ate about half a bag of licorice.... part of a bag of Doritos.... (not sweet, I know, but still) and I think I'm craving Peeps. Really not healthy. ;)
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