Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A book review: Unhooking the moon

Title: Unhooking the moon
Author: Gregory Hughes
Published: Quercus Publishing Plc (29 April 2010)
Synopsis: Meet the Rat: A dancing, football-playing gangster-baiting ten-year-old. When she foresaw her father's death, she picked up her football and decided to head for New York. Meet her older brother Bob: Protector of the Rat, but more often her follower, he is determined to find their uncle in America and discover a new life for them both. On their adventures across the flatlands of Winnipeg and through the exciting streets of New York, Bob and the Rat make friends with a hilarious con man and a famous rap star, and escape numerous dangers. But is their Uncle a rich business man, or is the word on the street, that he something more sinister, true? And will they ever find him? Hughes has created a funny, warm, unique world that lives and breathes. Like I Capture the Castle, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Curious Incident, Hughes' story and characters will resonate for many and for years to come.
from Amazon

Star parts: OK where to start. Well for a start the book made me laugh out loud. And what were the bits that made me laugh the most, well probably the bits that should have had you crying such as the funeral scene. And the climax, which involves some pretty awful people, and is totally exciting, and still hysterically funny. 

The characterisation is great, the Rat and Bob really come alive, their voices are authentic and they way Bob deals with his sister is, in my mind, really realistic. 

The story also carries you away. You want the kids to succeed and you want everything to turn out alright for them, even though I knew that at every turn things could go so dreadfully wrong. Each time they pull through something completely ridiculous happens, yet the story is so well written that it doesn't matter what Hughes comes up with next. 

Black clouds: The thing is, that it's not a black cloud. There are no faults with the book, it's just that it didn't end the way I wanted it to end. In the end despite the far out situations these kids go through, the ending isn't Disney saccharine sweet, it's realistic. I'm not saying I like Disney endings, I just grew to love these characters all of them, the Rat, Bob, the con man, the rap star, the Italian. I just wanted them all to be alright and in real life, that doesn't always work out, does it?

Do I recommend it:  Well first of all, a little back story. I read this to see if it was suitable for a 5th grade class. The Rat is always going on about 'goddamn pedophiles', and the books deals with some pretty hardcore issues, so I sent the book along to the high school library as it seemed very YA to me. Now if you find it in the high school library read it, because it's brilliant. And if you don't have access to our library, just get hold of it and read it anyway. 


Austin James said...

Looks like a cute book.

Michele Helene said...

I have to confess I was looking for faults as I wonder about writing outside your culture, the author is British and the book starts in Canada, but I found the characters really authentic.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Well, the title grabbed me right away: Unhooking the Moon! Who can't want to read that! Nice review.

Michele Helene said...

Thanks Elizabeth, it is a cool title isn't it.


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