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Mojo

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  213 ratings  ·  52 reviews
All Dylan wants is mojo. What is mojo? It's power. The ability to command respect. It's everything Dylan doesn't have. He gets no respect at school, and when he finds the dead body of a classmate, even the police push him around. All the thanks he gets for trying to help the investigation with his crime drama skills is a new nickname at school: Body Bag. So when Dylan hear ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 655)
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Ashley Granger
Dylan is a high school student desperately searching for “mojo,” that certain something that will give him power and respect. After fleeing from bullies, ending up in a dumpster with a dead classmate, being threatened by the police, and earning him the nickname “body bag,” Dylan decides something drastic needs to be done. He hears about a missing girl from an upscale high school and decides that he is going to be the one to find her, making him the savior of a beautiful, grateful girl – and the ...more
Jon
Mar 14, 2013 Jon rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery, arc
Seen At Scott Reads It
1-1.5 Stars
Thanks to Random House for providing me with an ARC of Mojo in exchange for a honest review. When I was chosen to be an Ambuzzador for Mojo on Random Buzzers, I was pretty ecstatic. Random Buzzers is an online community devoted to spreading the word about Random House titles for children and teens. Mojo was the first book I have read by National Book Award Finalist.

It's hard to enjoy a book when you have a distaste for the protagonist. I found Dylan to be an e
...more
Lisa
I had applied a while back for the Ambuzzador Program through RandomBuzzers, a division of Random House, not expecting anything and not even knowing what book would be coming if I was selected. So when Mojo showed up in my mailbox, I had to do some serious backtracking to figure out where it had come from.

I really had no idea what to expect when I read the book. It didn't seem like my usual kind of book, but I entered into it with a very open mind. I had a few false starts, having started readi
...more
Raheem Naughty
Mojo by Tim Tharp is about a high school student named Dylan searching for mojo something that will give him respect and popularity. After escaping from some thugs chasing him and his friend randy he ends up in a dumpster with a dead person who turns out to be his classmate then being threatened by the police, and bullied by the kids at school that got him the name “body bag,” Dylan decides on something he has never done before. He hears about a missing girl from a rich high school and decides t ...more
Salom
Decent pastiche of noir archetypes, but the narrator Dylan's near-total naivete and gullibility began to grate as the story continued. Perhaps if the story was pitched as a comedy and Dylan as an inept detective out of his element, it would work better-- Dylan accidentally finding a dead body, literally stumbling over a clue, spends 2/3rds of the novel happily thinking the wealthy powerful kids are kind to him out of the goodness of their hearts. Without being played totally for comedy, it just ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dylan doesn't go to the best school, but he is still surprised and dismayed to find the body of a school mate, Hector Maldonado, in a dumpster where he is hiding from bullies. When a local girl from a swankier school, Ashton Browning, goes missing, Dylan thinks the two events might be connected, and decides to investigate. The promise of a cash reward that he needs in order to buy a car doesn't hurt. Dylan and his friend Audrey get drawn into the world of the swanky school, especially the activi ...more
Annette
I didn't really enjoy Mojo very much. I felt it was contrived and unrealistic.

I'm going to give you the Amazon.com summary:

All Dylan wants is mojo. What is mojo? It's power. The ability to command respect. It's everything Dylan doesn't have. He gets no respect at school, and when he finds the dead body of a classmate, even the police push him around. All the thanks he gets for trying to help the investigation with his crime drama skills is a new nickname at school: Body Bag. So when Dylan hears
...more
sasha shamblen
Mojo by Tim Tharp is an amazing story. I loved it. I have to admit though that before I began it I wasn’t all that intrigued, I thought it would be one of those mysteries where you could guess the ending, but with Mojo you couldn’t.

Tim jumps right into the plot. He writes very detailed descriptions but not with ones you don’t care about. They are the ones that ultimately lead to the outcome or ones that make it so we can feel sympathy or animosity towards the separate characters.

He also, right
...more
jiawei Ong
The only person who can keep a secret forever is a dead one, so knowing more leaves a person more susceptible to danger. Nonetheless, Dylan still seeks knowledge, because he believes knowledge comes with power, or mojo. Dylan’s high school life is not entirely pleasing and worsens after the incident of discovering the body of a school mate, Hector Maldonado in a dumpster. Dylan is referred to as “Body Bag” ever since. When a local girl, Ashton Browning, from another high school goes missing, Dyl ...more
Radhika
Mojo means power! It commands respect. What every teenager desires in that phase of life where he is discovering himself and facing lot of challenges and fears while going through the tumultuous phase
Tim Thorpe has really weaved a good story line.

Dylan a highschooler who is bullied at school and considers himself at the lowest rung of the social ladder and dreams of acheiving the MOJO status. He gets involved in a murder mystery, as he finds the body of Hector M in the garbage can where he hide
...more
Emily
Through randombuzzers.com, a site full of fun stuff for teen readers, I was given an advanced reader's copy of this book with the task to read it, review it, and spread the word about it. I do not care at all for mystery stories, and was thus not looking forward to reading it, but it was actually ok. It was definitely a very engaging book, and I have to appreciate it for the writing style if nothing else. I also liked how it combined the drama of everyday life as a teenager with the mystery of a ...more
Kari
I was expecting a completely different book. I really enjoyed it. I think the thing that appealed to me the most was the main character. Dylan isn't the most popular kid. He is just your average teen trying to make it through high school intact. He isn't spoiled and has parents that pay attention to him. Even if he thinks they are lame. It's a real coming of age story. Through the mystery, he learns who is true friends are and what is really important in life. Mojo isn't all it's cracked up to b ...more
Sonia
I so wanted to like this novel, but I think I just wasn't in the mood for noir. It reminded me a little of movie Brick with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I skimmed a lot of the story, but I would still recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries.
Emily
The main character in this book just isn't engaging. He's not a very good investigative journalist and the premise for the plot is just kind of outlandish. It makes you think the author has something against wealthy people.
R♥inie.
Obviously, I like this book as it is a not a typical plot consisting of the protagonist falling in love with a blond-cheerleader type who is so out of his league, blah blah. In fact, the protagonist (Dylan) is just like any other teen who aims to achieve his goal (no spoilers here) to prove people wrong as well, and in doing so, uncovers many shocking truths and unravels lies along the way. Even his friends are rounded characters (spoiler alert: his best friend being a girl who is a lesbian) and ...more
Paul Lunger
Tim Tharp's "Mojo" is a book that tries to more than what it is & ends up being something it isn't. The story revolves around a boy named Dylan who stumbles onto a dead body of a friend Hector Maldonado & realizes he can be more than what he wants to be by trying to help out on the case of a missing person (Ashton Browning) which he hopes will give him respect & "mojo" itself. Tharp's story takes us into an odd underground of high school & a thriller/mystery that involves just ab ...more
Jessica
Teen mystery with a sense of humor. I sometimes like reading adult mysteries with a sense of humor, but this felt a little strange - every character seemed rather nonchalant about the whole Dead Highschooler Found in a Dumpster and Teen Girl Who Is Our Friend Completely Vanished. It kind of weirded me out, to listen to long passages where the narrator riffed on hamburgers he liked to eat or getting into a secret club and then I would remember that, oh yes, this kid is trying investigate A MURDER ...more
Angie
How do you get mojo when you just don't have it? solve a missing person case as an investigative journalist. Dylan sets about getting his mojo by asking a lot of questions and going a lot of places with people he normally wouldn't even be noticed by--the snobby, spoiled teen kids of wealthy parents. What at first appears to be a standard disappearance turns out to be so much more than he expected. Bored kids with a taste for danger and risk put Dylan's life in the balance more than once, and the ...more
Lesley
3.5 stars. Pros: I like the writing, the balance of humor and angst, the extremely believable characters of Dylan and his friends, the focus on what it's like to be a very ordinary guy, as opposed to a guy with superpowers fighting a Great Evil. This is the real world where evil exists a little bit in everyone. Cons: The mystery never ended up being very mysterious to me and Dylan's role as a detective was a bit too obviously amateur. Maybe that was the point, but his extreme cluelessness when i ...more
Sharon Hughson
Tharp has an authentic voice and the dialogue and interaction of the characters is excellent. It was refreshing to see a relatively happy ending in a mystery focusing on the disappearance of a teenager.
The reasons for four stars instead of 5:
1) I had a hard time accepting the motivation of the main character
2) The main character's arc seemed somewhat forced
3) It seemed to happily stereotype some "classes" of people and I don't think that's the best message to send young adults.
Overall, I was gla
...more
Jeff
Kind of like the movie Brick, if the main character in Brick had been extremely gullible and had let all the other characters walk all over him.
E_h
Jul 29, 2013 E_h rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya-teen
This book tries too hard. In his attempt to capture "authentic" teen dialogue, Tharp lamely proffers some of the most forced, contrived narration I've read in a long time. The "I'm like, she's like" and "I go, she goes" drove me absolutely batty. To boot, the "mystery" was completely predictable and therefore not mysterious at all, but in fact rather boring. Also, the whole idea of mojo was undeveloped beyond passing, superficial mentions along the lines of I have no mojo, Maybe if I find the mi ...more
Tatiana
Apr 03, 2014 Tatiana marked it as abandoned
Shelves: 2014, ya
Maybe because the audio narrator was so crap.
Cass
A mystery, but I'd definitely recommend it to kids who ask for a comedy. If you think of it that way, some of the stereotypes -- especially of upper class vs. lower/middle class -- become more tolerable. If not for the stereotyping, I'd give it 4 stars. I definitely did not anticipate the ending.
Stephanie John
The book definitely has potential, and I tried to get invested in the mystery but how could I when the mystery didn't even seem to be the main focus for many parts in the book? I understand why the author set up certain relationships but at the same time, although they were crucial to how everything played out, at the same time, it distracts from the mystery itself. As for the ending, let's just say that there could've been more foreshadowing.
Jenn Estepp
I'm not really sure about this one. I had a lot of issues with it, but don't know if I'm being nitpicky or if it's the curse of one who reads a lot of mysteries. And I suspect that some of the things that really irked me were things that were done intentionally and I've a failure to appreciate. (Oh, the naivete!) However, the voice was really strong and *some* of the characterizations were really well-done.
Emma Lohman
Pros:
Overweight male protagonist. Win.
Lesbian sidekick that wasn't just labeled "lesbian sidekick".
The book became more enjoyable as it went on.
They mentioned Chex Mix. And closeted Republican senators.

Cons:
Cheesy "whodunnit" in the beginning.
I could tell it was a male author by the second paragraph of the book.
It was extremely predictable.
Gail
I loved this book because the ending was so unexpected!
Michael
Who wouldn't want it all? The money, the friends, the cars, the swagger? So when Dylan, the classic outsider, gets a taste of the privileged life, it's easy to get lost. But he got here for a reason, to find a missing girl who runs with the rich and beautiful crowd, and the deeper he gets, the uglier the whole scene becomes.
Emma Belle
This book is so good and I dont even like mysteries. I would recommend this to anyone that doesn`t like mysteries and DEFINITELY to people that do.
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Tim Tharp lives in Oklahoma where he writes novels and teaches in the Humanities Department at Rose State College. In addition to earning a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. from Brown University, Tim Tharp has been a factory hand, construction laborer, psychiatric aid, long-distance hitchhiker, and record store clerk. His first novel, Falling Dark (Milkweed Press), was awarded th ...more
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