Two Mini Book Reviews {Never Say Genius // Fairest of All}

Hello!

I’m trying something new. I’m posting two book reviews in one post in one day. {scary. I know.} Considering that there is no book of blogging rules, I feel that this is okay :) Thankfully, both stories are relatively short, but instead of writing my own summaries, I used the ones that appear on the book jackets. {anyone else feeling a bit lazy today?} Let’s see how this goes!

The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius

Never Say Genius by Dan Gutman

Summary: Racing across America,
the twins will nearly be
BOILED ALIVE
in a huge basket of french fries,
FROZEN TO DEATH
by soft-serve ice cream,
STAMPEDED
in a wild stadium riot,
KIDNAPPED
from a high-speed
roller coaster, and
WORST OF ALL
their parents think
they’re totally joking!

Will they survive? Will they defeat Archie Clone? Will they be dropped out of a helicopter onto the tip of the Washington Monument? Will they ever say “genius”?

{borrowed form Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I wanted to like this book. I really really did. Dan Gutman seems like a truly nice person, and after reading dozens of reviews, there are plenty of kids who LOVED this book, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. The idea is quite nice, but I don’t think it was carried out well. Coke and Pep are two kids who are part of a program specifically for smart kids called, “The Genius Files.” As a part of this program, Coke and Pep are in danger at all times. They have a handful of deadly people after them, all for different reasons, but if its one thing that the twins can agree on is that they will never be truly safe. I thought Coke was okay, but I think her would have benefited from more developing. I didn’t find him quite up to “genius” standards. I know he has a photographic memory, but what else? I was looking for something that set him apart. I like Pep, a little bit more than her brother, but she was awfully weak. The author made her cry/whimper in dangerous situations, and then had her brother come to the rescue :/ Where’s the girl power?! The plot was over-the-top, and hard to believe. I can’t get over the fact that they got out of those obstacles {i.e. being boiled alive, covered in ice cream, chased by wild fans, and kidnapped by wacky people.} so quickly, and they did it every.single.time. It made the story predictable and the amount of foreshadowing {waaaaay too much} let you know exactly what was going to happen. Finally, I was disappointed in the parents. The kids have told you countless times what is really going on, yet you continue to think of it as a joke. Don’t you think that they would get the hint sooner or later? Dan Gutman said that he writes for kids who DON’T like to read, and I think that this book would be perfect for them, but for those who read a lot, any bookworm would notice the flaws.

Pros: The interactive feature was *kinda* cool, and I did like the ending. I’m trying here!

Cons: The plot was not believable, and the characters were weak.

Heads Up: Eh, some violence, but it all seems cartoon-like danger, if that make sense?

Overall: I give it 1 1/2 stars {* 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 8 and up.

View Dan Gutman’s website here.

Whatever After #1: Fairest of All

Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

Summary: Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White’s fairy tale. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. But hey — we’re heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn’t die, she won’t get to meet her prince. And then she won’t get her happy ending. Oops. Now it’s up to us to: Avoid getting poisoned, Sneak into a castle, Fix Snow White’s story. And then, fingers crossed, find our way home.

{borrowed from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: So incredibly cute! :) Sarah Mlynowski is a big name in the young adult area and I loved her Magic in Manhattan books, so I couldn’t wait to read her latest book for elementary school readers. Fairest of All is a reworked version of Snow White when Abby and her brother, Jonah, get sucked into the fairy tale. They mess it up {of course!} and Abby feels that it is up to them to fix it. Abby was extremely driven, and I have to admire her determination as a fifth grader. She was bossy, I will tell you that, but I think there was a reason behind it. As the story continued, I liked her more and more, so that was good.  Jonah was adorable, and the relationship between bother and sister was pulled off nicely. You could feel the tension, yet also fell the love both had for each other. I’m looking forward to seeing this element grow in the next book. Snow was awesome. I loved how she gained confidence and power, and by the very end, I didn’t think of Snow White as weak anymore. The dwarves were pretty cool too, and I loved how the author changed them from the cookie cutter versions. No one ever said that you couldn’t have a female dwarf with pink hair :) The fantasy and “getting sucked into the mirror” was a bit complicated, but I think the target audience would still understand it. Kudos to Sarah Mlynowski!

Pros: Funny and developed characters and unique plot.

Cons: Complicated story.

Heads Up: Nothing!

Overall: I give it 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 8 and up.

To visit Sarah Mlynowski’s website, click here.

Have a lovely evening, friends!

Bella :)

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