Monday, July 7, 2014

MG Book Review: Jesper Jinx, by Marko Kitti

General Information
Publisher: Marko Kitti
Year of publication: 2014
# of chapters: 6
# of pages: (e-book)
Genre: Contemporary

Plot summary (from Amazon):
Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname 'Jinx'.

In this first book of Jesper Jinx's wonderfully wicked adventures you're going to meet Jesper's family and Snowy the Cat. Also, there's a mysterious new classmate with a moustache. And it's up to Jesper to launch his famous Boredom Breaker. What harm would it do to have a little fun?

Positive Points
This is a very short book (about a third of a typical MG novel), but I wish it had been longer! I got totally hooked from the very start. Each chapter is a mini-story, loosely linked to the previous one, kind of like Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

The POV shifts from Jesper Jinx in the first chapter, to the narrator from the second chapter (where he meets Jesper) until the end. This reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate Events, where the narrator sometimes addresses the reader directly and plays a minor part in the story, but is mainly just relating the main character's adventures. The POV shifts again briefly, somewhere in the middle, to Snowy the Cat relating how he escaped from the kitchen in the previous chapter. This book is full of surprises!

Negative Points
In the first chapter, the dialogue lines were not capitalized when they were part of a sentence, which I found distracting. For example: "Jesper looked oddly thoughtful when he asked, 'what kind of children's books do you write?'" There was a bit of telling at times, and repeated phrases such as "After all" that I would have suggested eliminating if I had edited his book. But this is all part of the author's writing style and didn't stop me from reading this otherwise excellent book.

What makes this book unique
Jesper's "boredom breakers" made me laugh a lot. And the illustrations sprinkled through the book highlight the story and make it easier for young readers to picture each scene.

Overall Impression
I believe this book would appeal to reluctant readers in particular: short, easy to read, action right from the start, and such a unique, well-developed trouble maker ... I mean, main character.

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:


Greg Pattridge said...

I'm always on the lookout for books that may appeal to reluctant readers. This one sounds perfects and so much fun. Thanks for introducing me to this unique title.

Jenni said...

This sounds like a fun book! I always enjoy books with a narrator like Lemony Snicket. I think this might also be one my son would like--thanks for the review!

Rosi said...

Thanks for the review. This sounds like it might be fun.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of shifting point of view from one chapter to the next.

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