Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Return to Exile by EJ Patten

4.5 stars
Middle Grade (suggests ages 8-12, that might be a little low-- long and somewhat scary.  I won't give it to Boo for a couple of years probably)
Local Author :)
Copy received for Book Tour

I have been anxiously awaiting my copy of this book.  And then of course it arrived when I was in the midst of attacking trees in my yard (yeah, apparently they're actually NOT coming out, stupid chain link fence stuck in the trunk... oh well, we'll just fence over it) and my husband was working extra night shifts.  So basically, I have been little more than a somewhat functional zombie.

Which explains A) why I read this in fits and starts before just blazing through it and B) probably also explains my two gripes with the book.

Gripe one: I couldn't keep the characters straight to save my life.  It didn't help that they had weird names like T-Bone, Hands and Andrew.  (Okay, so that last one isn't weird, but I'm a barely functional zombie, remember?)  Anyway, that was probably just my sleep-starved brain.

Gripe two: the parents are painfully under-developed.  Which I get is totally normal for this kind of book, but at some point there needed to be some sort of "yes we know all about it, we've been trying to protect you all these years, here's what's really going on" conversation.  Who knows, maybe that's in the next book.

Those little things aside, this book was awesome.

In fact, the first paragraph made me laugh so much that I immediately made this my pick for our book club for May.  That's right, the FIRST PARAGRAPH.

About my note above: I don't think your average 8-12 year old is going to catch a lot of the humor and intricacies.  And Boo just read the first Sisters Grimm book and found it scary, so I'm not giving her this yet.  I think the book might have benefited from the main character being a bit older (say 13-15) and the target audience being more like 12-16.

Overall, lots and lots of fun.  GOOD choice for a middle school boy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm about half way through right now - as is my 13yo son. "Lots of fun" is right!