Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks

Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Rating: 3/5

Marcus doesn't even want to go away for the summer. And his Mum's fond memories of Diamond Beach turn out to be nothing like reality. This could be his worst holiday ever…
But things quickly become more interesting when Marcus discovers the hidden cellar in their smelly old caravan. There, he and his new friends, the Huckstepps, find themselves touring a string of fantasy worlds filled with giant pink cats, stranded holidday makers and walking talking fairground rides, in a place where dreams turn quickly into nightmares.
Your dream holiday is meant to be the perfect escape. So run. NOW.
An a wild, exhilarating ride that will lead Marcus straight to oblivion unless he can escape the trap that's been laid out for him - and all those tempted to venture through the disappearing doors…

My Junior Book Club read this book and for the most part the kids enjoyed it, although I wasn’t a big fan. A boy named Marcus discovers a staircase under a seat in the mobile home his mother bought. The staircase leaders to a cellar and anyone who opens the door finds themselves in their dream “paradise” and the creatures in their paradise did what they could to keep them from leaving. Throughout the book various characters are trapped in their dream paradise and the other characters in the book get them out.

For the most part the book was alright, but there were some very confusing parts. There’s a section of the book that takes place on a boat and neither I, nor the kids, had any idea what was happening during that chapter. There was also very little character development. I feel like none of the characters learned anything from their experience in the nightmare of a cellar. None of the characters grew, or seemed to learn anything. I understand that the book was for younger children (my book club is 4th and 5th grade) but I feel like it does them a disservice. I don’t know. Some of the characters were funny, the kids were able to talk about what their dream paradise and dream nightmare would be , but there wasn’t much else going on.


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