Nov 14, 2012

#TheList, No. 703: Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare

Here's the gist of the story: There's a boy, Darren, and he's telling the reader his story.  He likes spiders.  Like isn't a strong enough word.  He enjoys spiders so much that he decides to steal a super poisonous one from a vampire.  Alright, that sounds like it could get interesting.  He finds this vampire at Cirque de Freak, an illegal freakshow that of course he has to attend.  The remainder of the book (and the entire series, I presume), deals with the consequences of his actions.  What if he hadn't gone to the show? What if he left while he still had a chance? What if he, you know, HADN'T STOLEN A SPIDER FROM A VAMPIRE?  Ah the little choices that we make as kids and grapple with all the time when we're adults.

The plot is interesting and I'm sure the rest of the series is as well.  There's suspense, a circus of "freaks," a vampire, different takes on vampire mythology, and spiders.  But I'll be honest; I was not a fan of this book.  However, I think if about half of the exclamation points were removed, I would give it another shot.  Seriously, it felt like every other sentence was pocked with an exclamation point. Maybe it's intended to sound like a child excitedly shouting his story at you, you know in that way that only a five year old who's talking about taking in the mail can accomplish.  But to me, it just makes events that should be dark and spooky, more like a fun pony ride.  "I saw the coffin!...I was scared!...I couldn't believe it!"  Those aren't actually quotes, but they could be.

Punctuation problems aside, I think 5th and 6th graders would really enjoy this book/series.  To be stereotypical for a moment, it has all the elements that would get a boy to pick up a book.  Okay, stereotypical moment complete.  This book is also excellent to recommend to children interested in vampires, but whom you want to keep away from Twilight.

1 comment:

  1. When you say "children...whom you want to keep away from Twilight," you mean all of them, right?