Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Turning by Gillian Chan

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Ltd. (January 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553375769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553375760
  • List Price: $6.95
  • I finished this book on July 20
So, okay. I'm a librarian. I successfully find books for high school students to read on a regular basis. I work my ass off at it. Usually I do pretty good. But there's one person who always ignores my suggestions, doesn't read what I get for him or says things like "Do you even know me?" when I try to give him something. That's my pain in the bottom boyfriend. Anyway, when school ended I brought home books for me to read over the summer and he said "get some for me too" so I did (and I looked something like this). Well he read a couple and this is one that he read. It was short, so I read it too.
Here's the rub: Ben is mad. His mom died and he's moved to England (from Canada) with his heretofore absentee father Lars (awesome name, I know). Anyway, our Ben acts pretty much like he's wearing saggy diapers that leak throughout the whole book. He is deliberately terse, rude and somehow gets away with cursing out his father on a regular basis. Now you know I love salty language, but even that isn't really saving this book for me. Oh, right, the plot: there's a Green Man called Wyliff who is (rather deviously) trying to get Ben's help to best this big bad fairy who's pissing off the world (and yeah, I know "big bad fairy" sounds like an oxymoron). Anyway, tree man, plus a little guy who reminds me of a surly David the Gnome (10 points for figuring out how to reference that shit!) try to save the day. Ben makes the brilliant decision not to tell his dad/ask for help even though Lars is a folklore expert and would definitely be able to help him.
The thing is, it's not a horrible book. I didn't like the main character but it doesn't mean that it wasn't a perfectly acceptable story for the kind of reader who wants to read every fantasy ever. My boyfriend's review is: It's like OK cake. Meaning, you're never mad that you're eating cake, even if the cake wasn't that good. But in the back of your mind, you wish it was better. So, that's the story with this one. Read at your own risk.
Soundtrack: Feed the Tree by Belly. Because I love 90's alterna-rock and trees are hungry too.

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