Friday, March 23, 2012

MG/YA Fiction: Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Publisher: Knopf
Date: March 27, 2012
Format: ARC
Acquired: from publisher
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.)
Pages: 293
Reading time: day and a half

From GoodReads: Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle.  His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .

My review: I just love Carl Hiaasen's ecology-inspired novels for teens! They are always laugh-out-loud hilarious while also being quite informative, and Chomp is no exception. Chomp departs from Hiaasen's previous novels, however, in that it seems to be less of a mystery directly aimed at one of the forces threatening Floridian wildlife and environment. The reality show coming to the Everglades isn't doing any specific harm...its members are just idiots who have harm done to them by the local animal inhabitants.

Maybe it's just because my sense of humor and reading style have changed since middle school, but I didn't find Chomp quite as funny and engrossing as I did the author's other books. It's still plenty entertaining, though, and I was amazed at how many environmental facts Hiaasen incorporates just into the random bits of flashbacks to some of the reality show's worse moments in the wild. If you enjoyed the author's other books for this audience, I would definitely suggest picking up this one, too!

I also love how all of Hiaasen's MG/YA novels have similar cover designs and monosyllabic titles:

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! Fine blog, too! Carl Hiaasen is my favorite. He cannot write fast enough.