Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Name of This Book is Secret review

Book Talk: Cass is prepared for anything.  Her backpack is constantly at her side, and well stocked with everything from snacks to rope to a silver Mylar space blanket.  Just like her namesake, Cassandra, she is always predicting doom without anyone believing her.  But unlike the ancient Greek figure, the doom Cass predicts never actually comes.  That is, until one day when she meets a boy named Max-Ernest  who is constantly talking, and who helps her to uncover a real mystery.  With every secret they uncover, the closer they come to solving it, and the closer they come to their own doom.  Before you read this book, be warned: knowledge is power, but secrets can be dangerous.  Max-Ernest and Cass are foolish enough to throw themselves headlong into mystery, risking life and limb--but are you?

Rocks My Socks: The narrator!  I love how unreliable he is, and all of his meta-commentary.  I also love the hilariously hyperbolic characters--like Max-Ernest's parents who couldn't agree on one name so ended up giving him two.  They eventually divorce but are unwilling to leave the house, so they split it down the center  and pretend that the other is not there.  I also love the little tip of the hat to surrealist artist Max Ernst, which is very appropriate for this book.  I enjoyed solving all the little puzzles throughout--they weren't particularly hard, but it is meant to be juvenile fiction.  Synesthesia also plays a major role in the narrative, and I always find that fascinating.  Lastly I love the appendix at the back which includes a recipe for Cass' trail mix, how to make a compass, a circus slang glossary, and instructions for a basic card trick.  I'm a sucker for appendices!

Rocks In My Socks: The plot was predictable and the constant interruptions reminding the reader how secret and dangerous the narrative was did start to get a bit old after a while.  There are a lot of amusing gimmicks in this book, but there are also A LOT of amusing gimmicks in this book, and after a while despite their cleverness it gets a bit, well, gimmicky.

Every Book Its Reader:  I'd recommend this to ages 9 and up, and especially to anyone who enjoyed the Lemony Snickett series.  If you don't like narrators who address readers directly and play tricks on them, then this book is definitely not for you!  Anyone who likes humorous mysteries or solving small puzzles within the narrative will enjoy this book.  The book is pretty gender-neutral, so fun for everyone!

The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

No comments:

Post a Comment