Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Josh Berk
Author: Josh Berk
Will Halpin is the most interesting and outrageously funny character to be introduced into the young adult world in a long time.
Will is overweight and sarcastic. In fact, he refers to himself as a “sedentary manatee.” However, these are not Will’s only characteristics. He is also deaf. Will left his “special school” to be a part of the mainstream “normal” high school scene. The Superintendant of the school resembles a “skeleton in a Beatles wig who smells like beef.” And, from there, we are introduced to a cast of characters that are absolutely hysterical. We have the popular girl who everyone loves because she’s beautiful. She is, of course, the ex of the quarterback. We have the incredibly rich girl, who likes to show off her money, and scream at her underlings, and we also have the inevitable geeks and nerds who, like Will, tend to stand on the sidelines and look out at the popular landscape with both amusement and envy in their eyes.
Will doesn’t like hearing aids, so he attempts to lip-read all the teachers and students; even jotting down notes in his notebook regarding each and every person he runs into. (examples: the principal of the school who is rumored to have thrown a student out the window for chewing gum; a bus driver with toenails the length of a T-Rex; and, the jocks who seem to be outsmarted when trying to open a milk container in the lunch room).
Soon Will meets up with a boy named Devon Smiley. Devon is another outsider that gets picked on a lot by Pat Chambers – the football hero. Pat is one of those boys who have the world and everyone in it at their feet. His father is an extremely rich casino developer who is popping up in the news as being investigated by the government for illegal activity. But Pat’s dad is also putting together a party for his son. There are exactly 52 invitations to the “must attend” party of the year, and everyone wants to be on the VIP list.
As the story unfolds, the class goes on a field trip into an old, abandoned mine; the lights are turned off and when they come back on, the coolest boy in the world – Pat Chambers – is at the bottom of a mine shaft. Who committed the crime? Was it the math teacher who seemed to be flirting with the classic jock? Was it the principal who had a history of tossing students like horseshoes? Was it the one envious student who didn’t score an invite to the biggest party of the year? Or, perhaps it was the ghost of a miner who perished in the mine in 1902 and happens to have the same name as Will?
Will and Smiley get together to solve the crime with the help of Ebony (a great character who’s Will’s ex-girlfriend from his “special school”). Together the trio become Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to uncover the culprit.
Great mystery, great characters, great writing, but, above all, the sarcasm (which is my absolute favorite thing in the whole world) fills this book with perfect, laugh-out-loud lines. Enjoy!