There are two things to say about this book. The first is that it is fucking gorgeous. Great design, great paper stock, and—get this—scratch and sniff. Seriously. Pick it up, open it, and you’re smelling that pink bubble gum flavor smell that just might bring you tumbling back into your own childhood. It’s a neat trick if you can pull it off, and the packaging is successful on every level.
The second thing is that I couldn’t fucking stand this book. I didn’t make it past page 30. This is a young adult novel about a very young girl genius who has been recruited as some sort of secret agent. It is part of a series, but that shouldn’t have mattered. This book was billed as being mostly about surviving in the wild, and I love reading about that. The plot should have been enough to get me in and keep me there until the last beautiful page. But it didn’t.
I just can’t take it anymore. I can’t read another book about a rich white girl who can, to take the first example I came across, go out to eat with her friends without a single mention of the fact that doing such costs money and where that money might have come from. (Of course we know it would come from her super rich parents, who are so rich that apparently money doesn’t even bear mentioning in the story.) I just can’t take it. The loving maid, the absentee super-rich parents, the spoiled-er than thou little brat who gets every fucking thing handed to her on a platter and is a genius to boot. I can’t relate, and more importantly, I just don’t care.
I put the book down. I need more diversity in my books. I need, if not relatable economic circumstances, realistic economic circumstances, where going out to eat costs money and that is something worth mentioning.
Half of a chewed up piece of gum stuck to the bottom of a truck stop diner table out of all the pink bubble gum from the bubble gum factory.
Where I got it: Freebie at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair
Where you can get it: The Book Depository (free shipping ’round the world)