Maggie Guest Reviews Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

Maggie Guest postsMaggie and I just finished reading Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr last night, which was a re-read for me, but a first read for her since she fell asleep on it last year and never picked it back up.  I enjoyed it more this time around, and wonder if it was because I haven’t recently seen the movie, or that I saw things this time I didn’t before, or that it was the wide-eyed (most of the time), often giggling girl cuddling beside me.  Maybe it was all three, but I’m thinking it was the last that increased my enjoyment the most 😉

Since I reviewed it in 2008, I thought it’d be a perfect chance for Mags to do her first official review.  She has given a paragraph here and there on different books that we’ve read together about what she thought of a book, but never the whole review.  So, take it away Maggie!

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Nim's Island with MaggieMy mom is making do this, I want to play and this is boring and stupid, but she’s making me sit here and write this with her. 

So why did I read Nim’s Island?  “Because I wanted to” isn’t enough, mom says, so I guess I have to say more.  At school we do Accelerated Reader.  You get points for reading books and you get prizes and it goes on your report card.  Also, if I don’t meet my point goals, I can’t play computer games.  With Nim’s Island‘s 3 points, I’ll have 46 points.  I want to get 100 points by the end of the year, I’m trying to get mom to read Twilight with me, it’s worth like 20 points or something 😀

Nim’s Island is about a girl named Nim who lives on an island with her dad, Jack.  Her dad leaves her alone while he goes to study plankton.  He only means to be gone for 3 days, but then a storm hit and his boat got broke, and he couldn’t get back to her.  He let Nim know what happened by hooking up a note on Nim’s bird named Galileo.  While he was gone, they got an email from Alex Rover, who is the author of the adventure books Nim loves.  Having someone to talk to makes Nim feel less alone and happy to have a friend.  When Alex finds out that Nim is alone, she comes to the island immediately, even though it was hard for Alex to even leave her apartment because she’s afraid of everything, even just going outside.

Five things I liked about the book:

  1. I liked Fred, the iguana, best.  He’s so funny.  He always forgets he doesn’t like banana and takes a bite of Nim’s then spits it out and then Nim’s too grossed out to eat the banana. 
  2. The book was funny.  When Fred got mad, he swam down to the bottom of the pool and hid under a rock.
  3. It was cool that they lived on an island.  I’d love to live on an island and swim in the ocean whenever I wanted.  And she didn’t have to sit in a boring classroom for school, but got to sit outside and learn about nature and stars and how to talk to the seals.
  4. It was a short book.
  5. I liked the pictures in the book.

Things I didn’t like:

  • I didn’t like that Nim was left alone.  It’s bad to leave kids alone.  It made me feel sad that she didn’t have anybody to share the coconut pearl with or to comfort her when her knee got hurt. 
  • I didn’t like it when my mom teased me and said she was going to stop in the middle of the storm, in the middle of a sentence.  This is what she did:

“The water was up to Alex’s waist, then her chest, and up to her neck; she was spluttering and ducking, and… ”

Okay, time for bed.

I threatened to bite her if she didn’t finish.  She finished.

  • Did I mention I didn’t like writing a review?

I give Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr 4 out of 5 stars.  Okay, that’s all I can think of, so I guess I’m done. 

YAY! I’m FREE!!!!

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I’m counting Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr as part of my We Didn’t Start the Fire Challenge 2010 under “South Pacific”.

BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker

Title:  BoneMan’s Daughters

Author:  Ted Dekker

Hardback:  401 pages

ISBN:  9781599951959

They call him BoneMan, a serial killer who’s abducted six young women.  He’s the perfect father looking for the perfect daughter, and when his victims fail to meet his lofty expectations, he kills them by breaking their bones and leaving them to die.

Intelligence officer Ryan Evans, on the other hand, has lost all hope of ever being the perfect father.  His daughter and wife have written him out of their lives.

Everything changes when BoneMan takes Ryan’s estranged daughter, Bethany, as his seventh victim.  Ryan goes after BoneMan on his own.

But the FBI sees it differently.  New evidence points to the suspicion that Ryan is BoneMan.  Now the hunter is the hunted, and in the end, only one father will stand.

-From the front flap of BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker

When I first heard of this book, I was excited to read it.  The interactive site has creepy music and graphic pictures, and it looked as if it was going to be a suspense/horror novel.  I was all geeked out when I won a copy from The Literate Housewife‘s giveaway.  Alas, it has not lived up to the hype.

It is possible that I am disappointed in it because of the genre confusion.  It is, as it turns out, more of a crime/detective novel… something like Coben, but not nearly as good.  There is nothing like wetting your whistle for a tall glass of icy sweet tea, only to guzzle down lukewarm pickle juice instead.  So the fact I was geared up for some Clive and got Coben-knock-off didn’t help.  But… that wasn’t all.

As I read along, there were ways that Dekker wrote than just annoyed me.  Choices in words and phrases, as well as the way he stretched credulity beyond its snapping point.  By the end of the novel, I honestly didn’t know if the bad guy was going to win, not because his snazzy and clever writing, but because “Hell, at this point, anything’s possible.”  Honestly.  The Iraqi boneman takes Ryan, then the Texas BoneMan takes his daughter… and then that final connection between the serial killer and Ryan’s daughter was too much.  It made my “willing suspension of disbelief” impossible to maintain.

Add to that the complete lack of character development, or believable motives, or any reason I’d feel any sympathy for any of them.  By the end of the book I was hoping BoneMan would kill Ryan, the detectives, the publisher, me… Dekker, even.  Just get it over with!  End my misery!  Kill me now so I don’t have to finish!

A positive thing to say about it… Dean Koontz can sleep well knowing he’s not my least favorite author anymore.  Also, Dekker does present a fascinating moral dilemma.  How far would you go to protect your child?  Would you be willing to let another die in your child’s place?  Would you be willing to kill innocent people to save them?  I’ve found myself returning to this concept long after putting the book down. 

I give BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker 2 out of 5 stars.