My first book for the Clean Out Your E-Reads Challenge (COYER) hosted by Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading & Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! For this challenge I decided I would read 8-10 ARCs that have been sitting on my kindle.
I’ve been having a hard time getting into books recently, so I decided to start with a nice, easy, middle grade novel that has been sitting on my Kindle for over six months (it was published in June, 2015).
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins . . . .
Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target.
When done right, a middle grade book can be one of the most powerful pieces of literature you will ever read. I mean, think back and remember when your love of reading was really cemented and the books that really stuck with you. For me, at least, it was when the ages between 8-12.
Some of the best books I have ever read have been middle grade novels. And even as an adult, it is wonderful to find a MG novel that is still able to move you, even if you aren’t the intended target.
Book Scavenger, unfortunately, is not exactly one of those books. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but it was lacking that certain touch that makes it special for all ages. It was definitely a middle grade book. There is nothing wrong with that since that is the intended audiences. Maybe a 10-12 year old will fall in love with this book and it will be one that they remember and enjoy into adulthood. For me, as a 26 year old, wasn’t able to do that, but I can see my 10 year old self loving it.
Emily wasn’t my favorite character. She was a bit too selfish when it came to dealing with figuring out the clues and being a good friend. I get that she is completely invested in Book Scavenger due to the fact that it has been the only constant in her life, but that doesn’t mean she can ignore helping her one friend, when he has done nothing but help her. Also, it was the type of book where, the reader finds out the answers before the characters in the book. That is a major pet peeve of mine. I like being on the same page as the character. If I know too much I get annoyed at them for not realizing it, and if I know too little I am resentful that the character is withholding information (rational, I know). But it was still interesting, and I was invested in finding out what the treasure was!
This is a great book for children interested in puzzles and codes, light mysteries and of course, books!