This cautionary food-obsessed tale of boys with eating disorders … undercuts its serious message with forced humor.
In this cautionary tale about food-obsessed boys with eating disorders (the author) uses humor and a light touch to explore a serious, but little discussed issue.
Editing for clarity, okay, but there’s a world of difference between forced humor and a light touch.
This was part of a review for a book I deliberately chose not to cover at my other blog because it came on the heels of another book that I felt suffered from a similar problem: unrealistic boy characters written for girl readers. On the surface the book in question has an interesting premise – boys with eating disorders in a food-obsessed environment – but everything the boys did, the way they approached the problem and solved it, rang false. The boys behaved, well, like girl stereotypes in the bodies of boy stereotypes. I know I’m being broad here, I really don’t want to review the book. It is enough to say that it has joined the ever growing list I am accumulating of books written about boys, by women, that either condescend to appeal to boys or present boys unrealistically in ways girl readers (and female authors and editors) prefer to see boy characters.
The book was not funny, and it tried to hard to make things funny. That is what made the humor forced. The attempts at humor became a distraction, and it undercut the seriousness of the subject by making it part of the failed humor.
Now, I don’t know what to make of this, as written:
It’s cloned Tyrannosaurus Rex versus nanobot-mutated mad scientist when two secret British military experiments escape from their labs headed for a showdown in central London. With the wisdom of an old Kraken, and the power harnessed through a magic bracelet, it falls to a pair of teens to help Tim the dinosaur succeed. Action-packed absurdity saves the day.
Secret British military experiment Tim (stands for “tyrannosaur: improved model) escapes from the lab to save the world from a nanobot-mutated mad scientist. It falls to a pair of teens with an unlikely mentor and a magic bracelet to tip the scales in Tim’s favor. Action-packed absurdity saves the day in this strongly plotted tale of epic proportions.
Okay, so I was going for an over-the-top narrative style, but you know what, it’s relevant. The book is over the top itself. The idea of a book having a T-Rex and a mutant mad scientist and a Kraken (a 6000 year old Kraken at that!) and teens with a magic bracelet… I mean, come on!
I guess the message is loud and clear: No personality in reviews; Keep it simple; If you cannot be honest, be polite.
Also: the editor gets the last word, but your name goes on the finished product.