Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I have a bad feeling about this by Jeff Strand

I was really trepidatious about this - would it be as funny, as wacky, and snarkalicious as A Bad Day for Voodoo? Answer: Yes, yes it will.

Henry isn't a wuss. He takes reasonable precautions, like any sixteen-year-old who wants to live to see adulthood. Anybody knows jellyfish...ok, he's a wuss. Secretly, he'd like a little more self-confidence. Be able to talk to girls, that kind of thing. But he's pretty sure a week in survival wilderness camp isn't going to improve his life. Turns out, he's right. There's only five guys at camp, the food is disgusting and the only fun thing about the "games" is seeing who can be worse - probably Henry and his best friend Randy. Things look up a little when Henry meets a girl, Monica, from the music camp three miles away, but a second encounter ends in a disaster so that's out. But unbeknownst to anyone, trouble is brewing on the horizon and survival camp is about to become very, very real.

If you're hoping for some deep thoughts on manhood, the beauties of the wilderness, or some sensitive reflection on post-traumatic stress and violence in modern teens' lives, forget it. The closest you're going to get is Henry's vague "that's too bad" thoughts about the bloody death of one of the protagonists as he makes a run for the trees. There are no lessons learned (unless it's that you never can tell with girls), and no survival skills gained (even with the helpful wilderness tips included).

But, if you have a warped sense of humor, as I do, you will laugh hysterically through the entire book. So really, it's therapeutic.

Verdict: Great for teens looking for a quick, funny read, but be aware there's blood, death, and inappropriate humor.

ISBN: 978-1402284557; Published 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire; Purchased for the library

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