Skip to main content

Jeremy Fink-Review

I just finished Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Moss as a required read for my YA Lit class. I had some real issues with this book, and I have to say I was very surprised to find it on a syllabus next to Monster and The Chocolate War.
But, like a good librarian, I will focus on the good first: this book had a beginning, a middle, and an end. The cover is kind of charming. And Jeremy's mom is a librarian. That's about it.
My first issue was the reading level for this book. Jeremy and Lizzie are SO immature, I cannot imagine a teen reading this book. Actions such as throwing up after eating oatmeal with peaches in it (because, at almost 13, Jeremy lives on a steady diet of peanut butter and candy), breaking and entering, and taking things because she "has" to are behaviors all teens will totally relate to (sarcastic tone is not coming through in the text, but I assure you it is there).
The ending is preposterous. I spent the entire book enduring the stuff that happens to these characters convinced that through the magic of everyday life, the box would open and some sort of maturity would be achieved. Nope, instead, the entire plan was plotted by a group of adults and Jeremy had the whole thing handed to him. So the reader is denied even the idea that there is some charm in everyday life. Denied serendipity.
Several years ago, there was a similar book called Sophie's World that I also found to be boring. There, a young girl got letters that explained different philosophers' takes on the meaning of life. It was a yawn-fest, but it was aimed at adults who wanted to learn philosophy. Here we have middle school kids who act like kindergartners, trying to expound on the meaning of life in humorless spurts as they search for keys to a magic box that is supposed to contain the meaning of life. This entire process was planned by a father who was killed accidentally at a young age, but who had the wherewithal to set this all up for his son's 13th birthday in case he was not around. Huh?
If they still made after school specials, this was not good enough to be one.
This book has a waiting list at my library. I am dying to know who is reading this and what age they are. I could not recommend this to any age group. The characters are too babyish for teens, and the plot is too convoluted for middle school kids.
The real shame is that Wendy Moss is coming to a local book festival this weekend, and I do not think I want to read any of her other books. I will be skipping that tent.


Popular posts from this blog

Nebula Award Nominees 2017- Short Stories

This post is my progress report on my self-challenge to read all of the 2017  Nebula nominees! So far, I have completed the short story category and most of the the novelettes. I have 3 novellas and 3 novels to go.

Nebula Award Nominees 2017- Short Stories

What fun! I would never have read any of these stories on my own, although I expect some of these will show up in some future anthologies.
I have one personal gripe, and this will come up again in another category, and that is the death of the horror genre. Because they have just killed "horror" and lumped scary stories in with science fiction and fantasy, we get stories like SabbathWine trying to compete with Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies and it's not fair. It really is apples and oranges. Don't believe me about horror? Go find the horror section in the Barnes and Noble. Go ahead, I'll wait. 

     Griping over, this selection of stories was AWESOME and heavy on the fantasy stories. Seasons and Wardrobe are fan…

Reading Challenge: Read all of the Nebula Nominees

I am on a mission to read all of the Nebula Award Nominees before the awards are presented on May 20th. This was prompted by the fact that I see these awards all of the time and I have only recently gotten hooked on science fiction so I think it is important to understand what the community thinks is the best of the best. I plan to do the exact same thing for the Hugos, but I have time.
Unlike childrens' book awards, in which awards do not in any way equal popularity, readers seem to like to award favorites.

It's no secret I am just crazy about N.K. Jemisin and her writing. Honestly it is because of she and Kameron Hurley and Becky Chambers and Jacqueline Koyanagi and Charlie Jane Anders and John Scalzi and James S.A. Corey (both of them) that I find myself absolutely loving this genre. I have NO desire to go back and read early science fiction with dorky cartoon covers featuring sexy aliens and white dudes holding Jetson-esque blasters. I want to read forward. I like where …

Seize The City

I'm about to hit you with a group game that 1. costs very little money to make 2. sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Ready? Okay!

This summer we will be playing Seize the City. It's modeled after my game Seize the Castle. The only thing changing here are the trivia questions will now be super hero themed and instead of a castle in the center, there will be a "city". Something akin to this:
Image borrowed from Etsy for visual aid purpose only. My teen volunteers will actually be making the city from scratch and it will look however they want it to :) 

Because this game already exists in castle form, you will just have to use your imagination.
And because NO Thing is really original here is what started me on the path to Seize the Castle greatness:

The Game:

You will need:

Up to 20 players
2 mats with grids taped out on them
1 cardboard/foam core castle (or city, for summer)