Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And the meaning of life is ... rocks?

No, really, I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that Jeremy Fink gets rocks as his 13th birthday present from his deceased father. Of course, to find out what the rocks mean -- and, in fact, what life means -- you'll just have to read/listen to this pretentious book.

Since I last blogged about this title, Jeremy and his friend Lizzie finished up their tour of community service by returning a pawned Tiffany Lamp and a pawned telescope and learning what life meant to each of those folks; then off they went to grandma's cat-themed B&B somewhere in New Jersey where Jeremy got in touch with his inner Priscilla (Queen of the Desert) and hula-hooped in a grass skirt for the state (?) fair's talent competition. Then, yes, he did find all four keys to the box his dad made and opened it up to find ... rocks.

And aside from Jeremy's cross-dressing, was anyone concerned about the eating disorder (yoicking up an oatmeal breakfast) or the agoraphobia?

If this is all sounding a bit tooth-achy; I guess I've made myself clear. Too many handy coincidences, too many well-adjusted to the point of boredom almost-teenagers, a quest whose solution was evident almost from the get-go, just made this book scream its importance. When, in fact, it had little original to say about anything.

And that's just the book! Actually, I didn't mind Andy [gasp] Paris very much in this narration. He does a good adolescent boy and read with a solemn introspection that attempted to pump a little true emotion (as opposed to the bogus stuff that was signaled throughout this book) into Jeremy's story. And, the gasps -- while present -- didn't seem nearly as intrusive as they did in Rash. (With Rash, I always felt that 5 seconds of open mouth after the inhale and before something imporant came out.)

Recorded Books seems to have finally clued into the fact that a year ago I requested CDs as my audiobook medium of choice. But now that I've enjoyed a year of shower listening via the tape player, I'm checking out the library's copies of the cassettes in order to keep the two-book trick going. (Because my library can't seem to get off the standing order plan for children and teen cassettes only ... believe me, I'm trying!)

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