Thursday, August 13, 2015

Escape from Mr Lemoncellos Library: Shoutout to Ariana for the recommendation!


Through the midst of a crazy week long reading marathon whilst vacationing in Boston, I managed to read a book recommended by one of the few fans I have. Ariana had recommended this book to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Ariana!

Summary: Kyle Keeley and his friends have all written essays for a contest, with the winner getting to go into the crazy high-tech new public library in town run by Luigi Lemoncello (the creator of a billion board games and  video games, and the role model of basically half the school) Some kids write extensive 12 page essays while Kyle, who forgets about the contest writes "Balloons. I hope there will be balloons" and submits it. Somehow, he and a bunch of his friends win, and after a crazy night at the library exploring, they are faced with the biggest challenge- they need to escape. It's not one of those walk out the front door things- the front door is a bank vault style door to protect the technology from thieves. And no, it's not a run out the fire exit thing. Using only the resources in the library (as well as a few lifelines such as call an expert and get a question answered by the librarian other than "How do i escape") they must find a secret exit, with the winner(s) getting to star in Mr Lemoncellos next commercials. Thievery, blackmail, and the bible are included in another New York Bestseller by Chris Grabenstein.

What I liked: For me, I adored the whole puzzle ordeal. I like books that are interactive and put you in the same moment as the character, trying to solve the same puzzle as the kids who are the same age as you in the book. Like all good books, the action is plentiful and throughout the novel, nobody is trusted, leaving everybody tense and suspicious, all adding to the already suspenseful plot. Each of the characters have their own unique qualities, good and bad, meaning that you really never know a character.

What I didn't like: Sadly, no book is perfect. There isn't much to hate on, but I didn't really like the ending. For me a great ending is when it basically smacks you in the face. A few pages before, you're still confused how it could be done, but within a matter of minutes, it's just like *SLAP* and you're like WHAT THE **** This review was one of those where you expected it to come yet it never did, but when it did, you were already sorta like "Yay" but it wasn't that big of a surprise.
Anyways, I thought it was a good ending (can't give it away due to spoiler reasons :( ) but it was a few revisions away from greatness.

Final thoughts: Great book overall. Grabenstein really nailed it. Oh, and if anyone has the solution to the mystery puzzle at the end, feel free to email me @ justindoan8@gmail.com.  Be sure to include what the puzzle was, where it was, and how it is solved. I've got some signed bookmarks from Stuart Gibbs that may be of interest. If you hate Stuart Gibbs, how do you sleep at night?

Rating: 9 out of 10

Why? Really solid book, just a few revisions away from greatness. No need to explain because I basically did already.

Related: The Puzzler series featuring Winston Breen- Eric Berlin- really any book with puzzles or interactive activities.


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