Mini-Review: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

A bored young boy finds a way to travel to a mysterious land which teaches him the importance of words and numbers and most everything else in life.

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Rating:  ★★★★★ – loved it

Pros:  puns, word play, beautiful descriptive language, hilarious, clever
Cons:  literally none

This book is absolutely timeless (despite Tock the Watchdog) and everyone regardless of age should read it at least once.

It’s punny and clever, and trusts the reader’s intelligence. It’s even fun to read aloud, so if you have kids read it with them.

Seriously. Just read this book. You’ll be glad you did.

Review: Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett

A compulsively-promiscuous, troubled teen blogs about her interpersonal relationships throughout the year off between high school and university.

*** Trigger Warnings:  Child Sex Abuse, Rape, Domestic Abuse ***

Rating:  ★☆☆☆☆ – did not like it
Genre:  young adult fiction, ya contemporary
Pros:  none
Cons:  racism, annoying main character

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If you enjoy reading books about characters who are racist, ignorant, self-centered, and downright annoying, then you will love this book. If you prefer to actually like the characters you read about, don’t even bother with this one.

For those who have seen the film, whether you liked it or not, this is one of those rare times where the book is worse than its film adaptation. When making the film they cut out about 90% of Katie’s racism and internalized misogyny, which greatly improved her personality. The character in the film tends to come across more naive and damaged than anything else, but this is not the case in the novel.

Even the very brief mystery at the end wasn’t interesting enough to save this book, in my opinion.

Another thing that explains some of the problems I had with this book about a young girl and her issues: it was written by a man and it shows.

Honestly, there are so many other, better books out there about teen girls with issues, read those, don’t waste your time on this one.