Monday, June 13, 2016

Slacker by Gordon Korman, 2016

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Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him.

It's time for some serious damage control--so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real--and Cameron is stuck being president.
Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends--and some powerful new enemies. The guy who never cared about anything is now at the center of everything . . . and it's going to take all his slacker skills to win this round.

(240 pages)

Who doesn't love a good Gordon Korman? I know I certainly do! This was a great read to kick off the summer with, because it's just so fun.

Now, the cynical part of me does has to say that Slacker is similar to many of Korman's other books, especially Ungifted and A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag (both of which I like more, partly just because I read them first). It's beginning to feel like Korman is kind of recycling components of his older books.

He's still a great writer, though, and I know that Slacker will appeal to a lot of kids. Heck, it appealed to me even though I'd already read so many of Korman's other books. He's an amazingly skilled writer, an amazingly funny writer, and that will always draw the attention of his audience. Plus, Cameron's gaming obsession is a total draw. I know that my brother's eyes lit up the minute I said the word "gaming" - now he wants to read Slacker as soon as I'm done with it, because he assumes it will be an interesting book.

For me, though, Slacker just didn't quite hit the sweet spot. It was good, and I really did enjoy kicking off the summer with a new Gordon Korman novel to make me laugh, but I never felt quite the same connection to the story, or the characters, that I have had with many of his others. If you haven't read as many of his books, though, then I definitely still suggest you give Slacker a try - it may not be very cutting edge compared to Korman's other books, but it's still funnier than the vast majority of middle grade books out there. If you do read Slacker, definitely let me know what you think of it in the comments section below!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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