My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Unoriginal but so fun to read that I barely cared!
– This book was so fun! Honestly, I had a great time reading it and I even found myself making excuses to re-read passages just so I could stave off the ending for a little longer. It’s a quest adventure with enough intrigue, danger and excitement to keep you page-turning.
– This was one of the most authentic representations of what it’s like to grow up poor that I’ve read. It wasn’t so over the top that it ambushed the story but it showed how different ‘normal’ looks from the perspective of someone who doesn’t grow up with a great deal of money.
– Okay, I love that this was 80s heavy because it gave me a whole new appreciation for the decade but it does blur the audience of the book a little – a YA novel with an abundance of eighties references? I can see how that easily would put off a lot of readers. However, the author does a great job of making the references quite clear and well-explained without making the reader feel as though they’re being lectured which, with a bit of perseverance, should help most readers unfamiliar with the eighties.
– A lot of the time this didn’t feel like an original book at all. It just had so many tropes and predictable bits that it felt like a mash-up of most of the things I enjoy from other films and books in this genre. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad mash-up but it is something to be heavily acknowledged and if this book hadn’t have given me so much joy to read it would have definitely knocked a star or two away from it.
If you’re looking for a serious read with hearty, emotional take-home messages throughout then this isn’t the book for you. I’m surprised how much I’ve thought about it after reading as I did expect to forget about it a week later with it being such a fast-paced, action, light-hearted read but the adventure stayed with me.
It works great as a standalone but I’m so intrigued by the universe Cline has created that I hope we see more of it – perhaps as an adult or more serious book.
All in all, a fab summer read.