Tag Archives: aliens

Book Review: Jonny Jakes Investigates the Hamburgers of Doom by Malcom Judge

Published June 2015 by Curious Fox.

25726092Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet Jonny Jakes, undercover reporter for banned school newspaper The Woodford Word. Nothing will stop his pursuit of the truth. Not teachers. Not parents. Not double detention.

When a new head teacher arrives halfway through term, Jonny smells a rat. Teachers handing out sweets? All-you-can-eat hamburgers? He’s determined to get to the bottom of it, because Jonny Jakes investigates the same way he eats his hamburgers: with relish.

My Review: I haven’t read many middle grade books so far this year – so when I was emailed about this book, I jumped at the chance! Also, if the title is THE HAMBURGERS OF DOOM, there is no way I’m missing out on reading it.

I can definitely see why this first book in the Jonny Jakes Investigates series is one of Curious Fox’s leading titles of 2015. It ticks all the boxes for a brilliant children’s book, and more. From the witty illustrations of the characters, to the hilarious dialogue and fictional school setting, it was a delight to read!

The story opens with an introduction to Jonny Jakes, the mastermind behind his school’s newspaper, which has been garnering a lot of attention with its many articles mocking the headmaster. When a mysterious new head teacher turns up, Jakes is determined to get the first scoop on it, but he finds out that it’s not just any old head teacher. It’s an alien, and matters are about to get a whole lot more complicated – because despite his nice personality, is this alien headmaster up to something wicked?

The plot felt like a classic story, though original, and I can tell this is going to be a very popular book with younger readers. I did not expect to laugh as much as I did. The plot is a hilarious blend of Sci-Fi and school drama.

The voice of Jonny Jakes is undoubtedly one of the best child narratives I’ve read in a long time. There was just something about the voice, how the diary entries by Jonny were written – it felt so realistic and I loved it! I’m confident Jonny Jakes has the potential to be one of those iconic book characters children are going to grow up loving.

The dialogue was sharp-witted and I loved the relationships between all of the characters. I didn’t expect to become so attached to such brilliant characters in this book, either!

Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised with The Hamburgers of Doom. A quite frankly ridiculous story about a schoolboy reporter investigating evil hamburgers and an alien headmaster… t’s a fantastically silly read that’s bound to make you giggle a little bit, no matter what your age. I enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated. I think it’ll appeal to a lot of reluctant young readers, too. I’m really looking forward to seeing more from this series!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of The Hamburgers of Doom from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Book Review: The End of the World as we Know it by Iva-Marie Palmer

Published 6th March 2014 by Hot Key Books.

19208187Goodreads Synopsis: They wanted to party like it was their last night on earth. They just might get their wish….

Meet the four most unlikely heroes ever:

Teena McAuley: Queen Bee, first-class problem solver, resident heartbreaker.
Leo Starnick: UFO conspirator, pizza delivery boy, all-around slacker.
Evan Brighton: Baseball all-star, Teena-worshipper.
Sarabeth Lewis: Straight-A student, weekend hermit, enemy of the colour pink.

When Teena locks Leo, Evan, and Sarabeth in the basement during her biggest party of the year, she doesn’t plan on getting trapped in the Loser Dungeon herself. She can barely imagine a night with these dweebs—let alone a lifetime. But when an alien invasion destroys their entire Midwestern suburb, it looks like these unlikely friends are the last people on earth. Now, it’s up to them to save the world…

My Review: The End of the World as we Know it is a book I’m pretty mixed on! It was a good read- I love funny books and I love books about aliens, and this did have both. I was excited to start it, but from a few pages in I wasn’t sure I was really going to get into it. I don’t think I fully did… The story was pretty hilarious but I just found it a bit… I don’t know… I just didn’t click with it entirely.

I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped was because of the characters. They’re all very well developed, and they’re classic stereotypical characters of sorts- the slightly geeky one, the goody-goody son of the local Vicar, the rebellious slacking teenage guy, the popular girl who has a bit of a bumpy history with one and hates all of the others. They meet properly by all getting locked in a basement as the apocalypse happens, which I found pretty funny. But it really started annoying me later on in the book, how they all seemed much more focused on their relationships than saving the planet. Okay, it’s meant to be a funny read… but I guess I was in a Sci-Fi mood and wanted more alien action and things!

The plot was really enjoyable. It shouldn’t really be taken too seriously- it’s an epic adventure across a post-alien-invasion town and the weapons that overcome the aliens are stupidly brilliant. I liked Iva-Marie’s writing. It really drew me into the story, even when a character was annoying me a bit! Some parts are a bit silly, but it was definitely a fun read, that made me giggle quite a bit.

Overall, The End of the World as we Know it wasn’t what I was expecting, but fun to follow anyway. The story is a mix of Sci-Fi horror and humour that I found really unique. I liked the development of the characters over the course of the story, but at points they did kind of annoy me… I’d recommend this to fans of contemporary comedies, definitely. I’m really mixed. There were multiple things I disliked but in all, it was a really enjoyable read.

My Rating:

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I received a copy of The End of the World as we Know it from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.