Saturday, October 07, 2017

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics. (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #2) Chris Grabenstein. 2016. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Just about every kid in America wished they could be Kyle Keeley.

Premise/plot: Love books? Don't mind gimmicks? Pick up a copy of Chris Grabenstein's Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics.

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics is a premise-driven novel with little to no character development. The plot consists solely of gimmicks--or games. In the first book, four kids got the chance to win spots in commercials for Mr. Lemoncello's games. In the second book, there's a nation-wide rematch. Kids from all over the United States are given the chance to compete in a week-long "Olympic" event at Lemoncello's amazing library in Ohio. The twelve games allow for a lot of name dropping--book titles, author names, plot descriptions. But mostly silly, over-the-top, fantastic gimmicks. Will Kyle, Akimi, Sierra, and Miguell win again? Or will they meet their match in Marjory Muldauer?

My thoughts: I am not one for gimmicks. I am one for reading books. I am one for libraries. But can a book's sole strength come from name-dropping books and authors and still be a good book? Isn't a little character development ever needed? The plot comes solely from the kids--all devoid of characterization essentially--playing games and solving puzzles. That being said, it was a quick, easy read. It didn't require a bit of thought. I don't regret the time I spent reading it. 

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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