Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

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I'm deeply conflicted about this book.  It was a fast read, and rather fun.  My daughter LOVED it and went on to read the next four in quick succession.  So it was good.  But on the other hand - what was he thinking about calling the female lead "Maximum Ride?" and the story itself is similarly shallow. 

It's like he's writing by numbers, pushing all the buttons of an action packed book with fantasy overtones -- and most especially using the same techniques as the Percy Jackson series  in terms of trying to connect with the readers and instil a sense of impending doom and near danger -- it just didn't quite come off . Not for me anyway - but on the other hand I'm an adult and what I want from a book isn't always what a younger reader would want, and someone with a slightly less jaded "palette" would not be quite so sensitive to what seemed to me a certain soulessness that infected the book.

So maybe if this was an ordinary site and we gave out stars I would be tempted to give it only two - but that's not the whole story. And it's not really a fair evaluation because despite it's flaws it is highly readable and perfect for reluctant readers because of all those numbers - or buttons that are covered, kids - all alone, having to survive by their wits alone.  There's lots of action, lots of danger, lots of evil scientists and feats of bravery and wit.  So who am I to argue with the teens - for whom this book is written and give it any lower score than the four stars.

Review by Alicia Ponder.

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