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Mimi, Fortismere

Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth

It is hard to fault the plot and ideas for Sputnik's guide to life on Earth, however I believe it is aimed at an age range lower than mine. The vocabulary is simple and so is the storyline, which is why I think I would have enjoyed it, maybe 4 or 5 years ago. It is the sort of book that would be classed as an easy read, so, say you had finished reading a Dickens, it would be a good thing, quick, simple, fun. I can't say that I did not enjoy it, as there were moments that made a smile form on my face, made me wonder what was going to happen next, or, even, made me worry for the lives of the characters. The emotions of Prez were well portrayed, especially when he was with his Grandfather. The portrayal of dementia was effective, and relevant, as the mental illness recently overtook heart disease to become the biggest killer. Prez's protective instincts are clearly shown to the reader at the beginning of the book and are constant without, his personality doesn't change in a way that makes him seem unrealistic, instead, develops, showing him growing more mature in a way that seems very likely for someone in his situation. Setting and atmosphere in the book are quite weel described, giving clear images of the goings-on. It is well constructed, with memories gradually reappearing in Prez's mind, rather than gushing back all in one go, as the latter would have caused the book to be harder to follow. The author sews the dialogue and narrative together well, the seams are hardly noticeable, this is important as speech plays a large role in the story. I like the fact that the ending is not as happy as it could have been, which is all too common in books aimed at this age range, this factor is probably what causes it to be shortlisted for this award.

Posted on: 14th May 2017 at 04:57 pm

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