A Couple Of Boys Have The Best Week Ever

If I had to give this review a subtitle, it would be:  "One Father Reads Possibly The Weirdest Book Ever." 

*It's anything but unoriginal  
*Author Marla Frazee does a decent job of getting into the heads of adolescents and demonstrating how they would act when shipped off to what they might view as a boring place for vacation
*Has the boys grow emotionally by the end by having them consider their elders feelings

*A lot of the jokes in here are aimed at adults, which you would think would give it a leg up with me -- only problem was they weren't that funny 
*Perfect example of this can be found on the front cover... including "25 cents you wish" could be humorous coming from someone you know but sounds snarky when said by anyone else (especially when it is a lady who expects you to pay $16 for this piece of randomness) 
*The whole Antarctica mini-theme makes little sense in the beginning and even less sense at the close -- if it's possible to untie loose ends, Frazee has accomplished it

Was there really a nature camp, or was it another one of those jokes I didn't get?  Considering the entire story revolves around James and Eamon being involved in this very activity, it's kind of an important question.  It's also a primary reason why I did not like much about ACOBHTBWE.  In it's effort to be offbeat, it fell far off the beaten path, or any path, for that matter.  The scary thing is, I checked it out expecting something irreverent.  Truthfully, I'm not sure why it's not getting a Destroy from me, but it's pretty awful.  If I had to venture a guess on why it's being spared, it's because it might be possible that certain parents will find it amusing.  Not parents I would call friends, but parents nonetheless.

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy


Alysa said...

I would give this book a BUY or a hearty BORROW. I'm just so puzzled as to why you had trouble with it. Of course the boys went to a nature camp. Also, they're not adolescents, they're youngsters -- maybe 8 or 10 years old. And the nature camp is themed for Antartica. Now it has been some time since I've read the book, but I read it quite a bit since I liked it so well. Anyway, does that help the book make more sense to you?

mysteryguy said...

Now this is what I'm talking about! Love the passion!!

First off, you were right in correcting my use of the word adolescents (although some 10 year olds do develop faster than others). My internal thesaurus malfunctioned last night...

Now, to your main gripe. If you didn't look at the "Polaroids" on the inside covers, you would have no idea that they were going to camp outside of the shirts they are wearing and all the verbal mentions of it. The kids spend all their time with the grandparents and there are no appearances by other kids in the story. The Antarctica thing is Grandpa's passion, not the theme for whatever day camp they may be going to outside of the story presented.

So, in short, I really appreciate your opinion and have not closed the door on me being totally wrong. HOWEVER, I maintain my belief that the author's presentation is not crystal clear and I 100% maintain my argument against buying it. It's weird!!!! But, hey, if people trust your take on it over mine, I'm okay with that. I can't be right all the time:)