Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Recipe for Disaster

I'm reading the other authors shortlisted for McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Young People Award. I'd read Eva Wiseman's Puppet when it came out last year. I read all her books - because they're historical fiction and because they are so good. I would give Puppet the best chance to win (but then, I'm not done reading all the nominated books yet).

Now I've just finished Maureen Fergus's nominated book Recipe for Disaster. I approached it with a critical mind, looking for weaknesses because, of course, her book is competing against mine. And I admit, at first, I felt a teensy bit comfortable. But the book just kept getting better and better, and by the time I was done, I was feeling pretty insecure. Not only is Recipe for Disaster super funny, it's also very well written, and has a main character who matures in a subtle but believable way. I'd compare the writing to Barry Summie's I So Don't Do Mysteries series.

There were several times I laughed out loud. What really stands out are the verbs. Francie, the main character, is so full of energy she just moves the action along. During the last half of the book I started checking off those verbs. Here's a sampling: sprinted, screeching, tumbled, clomped, whizzing, plunged, leaping, dazzled, hustled, burst ... you get the picture. The book is full of action. And I think it's got everything a young adult (middle grade) reader wants in a book.

It's also very visual and I could just see this as a movie.

Recipe for Disaster is a great read, and considering my own book is anything but fun, I so enjoyed laughing along with Francie as she tries to be successful in that dangerous period of life called the teen age.

I'm honored to be on the same shortlist! One more book to read.

2 comments:

Barrie said...

And now I must read Recipe for Disaster. ;)

Gabriele Goldstone said...

Yes, read it. I highly recommend it. (And, of course, I will always highly recommend your books!)