"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

In What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Allison Kim and her best friends, Rob and Juliet, are typical teenagers with one slight variation, they all have Xeroderma Pigmentosum which is a fatal allergy to sunlight. Their lives are turned upside down, sleeping during the day and only going out at night when it is safe to avoid the sun's rays. They prowl their small town like cat burglars in the night but the town is small and everyone knows them, plus Juliet's dad is the sheriff, so they are safe. But because they can't do normal teenage stuff like going to school and after-school sports, they try to find their kicks somewhere to feel more normal like the "daytimers." Juliet, the most daring of the three, starts doing Parkour, a stunt sport of scaling and jumping off tall buildings, and the other two go along with her. Soon all three are strong and capable of daring feats of courage, made even more daring because these feats are done in the dark.

One night, as the trio practice Parkour on a newly constructed condo building, they witness what looks to be a murder. Allie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth but this quest ultimately turns her life upside down and puts she and her family in real danger.

I listened to the audiobook of What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard and I "consumed" it faster than I usually can with audiobooks because it was so exciting. Rebecca Gibble, the narrator of the audiobook had a nice young-sounding voice lending credibility to the teen focus of the story. At first I was wrapped up in learning about XP and about Parkour and found both to be fascinating.  As the plot thickened I found some of the details too odd or out-there to be believable so it lost a bit of credibility with me. It is also clearly the 1st book in a series and the reader is left dangling, obviously setting us up for book number two. My daughter read the book before me and she too found it extremely exciting and also frustrating because of the ending.

That said, I think that this book has a place in a high school library where kids are always casting about for good mysteries and enjoy reading books that are part of series.  This book also has a shot of winning attention as an award book for the Schneider Family Book Award, given to books that highlight teens living with disabilities.  The information on Xeroderma Pigmentosum is so interesting. I want to learn more.

30 books this Summer Reading Challenge

18 / 30 books. 60% done!

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