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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

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4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  15,726 Ratings  ·  1,487 Reviews
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Paperback, 289 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2006)
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Adriana
Jun 01, 2008 Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a boy named Jeremy Fink who got a gift for his 13th birthday. On this box it said "The meaning of life" and it had a lock on it. He got this girft 1 month before his birthday though and it was from his father who died 5 years ago. There was also a letter that came with this gift and it was from a lawyer. The lawyer was to give to Jermery for his 13th birthday but the key got lost and there was no replacement. Jeremy was the type of boy who didn't leave New York City but his n ...more
Will
Apr 27, 2008 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 11-13 year olds just getting into mystery
Shelves: young-adult-read
The contrived plot of this book made it hard to really enjoy as an adult reader, but as a teacher, it actually helps.

Let me explain: In this book, Jeremy Fink is a 12-year-old who receives a mysterious box that his father, who died several years before, had arranged to be delivered to him the summer before his 13th birthday. It requires four keys to open, but they are missing. In it, according to a note from his father, is "the meaning of life." Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, end up looking
...more
Mel B.
Sep 23, 2011 Mel B. rated it really liked it
A former classmate recommended this book and I was sucked in almost immediately. Do you expect to learn the meaning of life in a young adult / children's book? Oddly enough, you do pick up some of that meaning along the way. [return][return]Jeremy receives a box that is meant to be opened on his 13th birthday, from his long-dead father. The only problem is that the box has four locks and he doesn't have the keys. His summer is alternately devoted to his quest for the keys and an odd sort of comm ...more
Madi
Jul 19, 2015 Madi rated it it was amazing
An incredibly touching story, I don't think I'll think about life the same way now.
No full review this time, I won't do it justice.
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keilani Ludlow
Honestly, it was hard to decide between a 2 and 3 star. Overall plot and story, 3, wrap-up - 1 or 2. Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy are great. Their story, the little mystery/adventure they embark on, all interesting and good.

Here's my issue. You don't title a book with "...the Meaning of Life" unless you really have something good as the meaning of life. Or a really good reason why the meaning of life becomes the journey or something like that. However, when you have one really important dea
...more
Christina
Oct 18, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeremy Fink and the meaning of life is a book recommended for ages 11 and up.
Here is a little about the book:

Jeremy Fink is a 12 year old boy and his best friend’s name is Lizzy. Lizzy and Jeremy do everything together. Jeremy and Lizzy live in the same apartment in New York City. Jeremy’s dad gave him a box to open on his 13th birthday which is coming close. Throughout the story the two best friends have to find the keys (that they don’t even know exist) to open the box. While they are on th
...more
Susana
(review in English below)

Comprei este livro para o meu filho, que está na fase das dúvidas existenciais. Quando ele o acabou, disse-me que eu tinha de lê-lo. Na verdade, eu já o tinha começado...

É uma história bonita, bem contada e correspondeu exactamente às expectativas que eu tinha quando o encomendei.

Recomendado a jovens de 12-14 anos, sobretudo aos que se questionam sobre o que estamos aqui a fazer...

I bought this book for my son, who's working through some "existential doubts". When he fin
...more
Agata
Aug 26, 2016 Agata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7th-ela
I enjoyed the progression of this book. To me, one of the underlying messages was 'everything happens for a reason', which is something I wholeheartedly believe in. Jeremy's curiosity and innocence, which is something that can often be missing from children his age, made him an interesting character to see grow. I thought some of the puberty references at the end were a little out of place, but they didn't hinder the story.
April Thompson
Sep 08, 2014 April Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want-to-own
If you go along with the flow of life, without trying to change others, or change situations that are beyond you, life is much more peaceful.
Beth
Mar 23, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book! What a sweet message of family, friendship, and love! Not ready to read to Alex, but might suggest Brooke read it, although with no vampires, I don't know if she will...
Megan
Jun 30, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid, fiction, teen, ajpl, 2011, favorites
For some reason I am really feeling juvenile fiction this summer. Just something about kids' books and summer that makes me all nostalgic, even though most of the books I read as a kid during the summer were Goosebumps. I still remember trading them amongst kids at school like they were Pogs. Oh, man, Pogs...

Anyway, this book is a really perfect summer-in-middle-school book. It features a weird kid and his weird friend, but the great part is throughout the book you realize that everyone in this
...more
Vonia
Wendy Mass. If only she wrote adult literature. As it is, the main complaints I have from reading "Jeremy Fink & The Meaning of Life" come down to it being targeted at young adult readers. For example, the length with descriptions puberty process; the easier words; the elaboration on topics adults have already been educated on! the tendency to overtell rather than show. Obviously, this is necessary to be categorized and to make it readable for the targeted audience.

Another complaint is the
...more
Barb Middleton
My best friend and I set off on our bikes determined to go further than we ever had before. The wind whipped my hair off my face and nervousness, joy and excitement rippled through me like heat waves off the asphalt. We were having a blast.

Until we got lost.

That wasn’t so much fun.

Jeremy Fink in the book, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass, is the opposite of me. He likes comfort so much he won’t even eat anything other than peanut butter sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. It is
...more
♔ Jessica Marie
Jun 03, 2009 ♔ Jessica Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy
My sweat smells like peanut butter.

How can anyone not be immediately drawn to a book with an opening sentence like that?

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life documents the life Jeremy Fink and his best friend, Lizzy, as they attempt to find the keys to a box that contains the meaning of life. Along the way they discover important things about themselves, their friendship, and of course life. They also encounter many unique characters that will aid them on their search and leave a lasting impressio
...more
Kelsie
Dec 02, 2008 Kelsie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so fun and enjoyable to read! I loved the adventure aspect, as well as the reason behind the adventure: to find the meaning of life. Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, go on a search to find the missing keys to a box Jeremy's dad made for him to open on his 13th birthday. The box is significant because Jeremy's father made the box on Jeremy's 8th birthday, and then Jeremy's dad died three years later. Jeremy feels especially drawn to this quest because this message comes from his d ...more
Kerry Cerra
Jan 10, 2011 Kerry Cerra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg
Twelve-year-old Jeremy Fink is a play-it-safe kinda kid. There’s no need to wander farther than his own New York City block. Ever! So, when a mysterious wooden box, with keyholes on four sides, arrives on his doorstep with a note from his dead father’s attorney, Jeremy simply asks for the keys. But it’s not that easy; the keys have been misplaced. The box—engraved with the words The Meaning of Life: For Jeremy Fink to Open on His 13th Birthday—sets Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy on the quest o ...more
Mamani3
May 01, 2015 Mamani3 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeremy Fink, a twelve year old boy, wanted to find the keys to the wooden box his dad left for him before he passed away, but the keys are missing and Jeremy doesn’t want to destroy the box. The box has carved writing on it saying that it has the meaning of life in it, and Jeremy’s dad had also written a note that came along with the box saying that Jeremy is supposed to open the box on his thirteenth birthday. So, Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, have to go on an adventurous Journey to find ...more
Abbey Schaefer
Jan 07, 2014 Abbey Schaefer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, written by Wendy Mass, A young boy named Jeremy Fink receives a box in the mail just before his 13th birthday. Along with the box, he receives the words,"The Meaning of Life-for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday." This box has four locks, but there are no keys that arrived with it. Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy go on a hunt through Manhattan to find clues as to what lies inside the box. They search all over the city and meet many interesting people along the way and every ...more
Kelly
Aug 26, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kid-safe. Mother-approved.

I bought this for my son, but it was so cute, I found myself reading it long into the night. It's been awhile since I read a kids' book that didn't insult the intelligence of the child reading while also respecting parents' wishes and keeping foul language, overt sexuality, alternate lifestyles or disrespect for certain political or religious beliefs out of the equation. This one is for EVERYONE.

Here, you have some extremely well-written characters, loads of humor, a c
...more
Larissa
Mar 12, 2016 Larissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-the-stacks
An old man is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - ...more
Nick Boudreau
Ah, a Classic Wendy Mass story. Reading this as a sixth grader had me jumping out of orange-red Lebron 13 Special Edition basketball sneakers. I started the book, and it was actually ok! I mean, a confusing plot and the characters jump from here to over there but overall an O.K. read. I would give it like a 3.5, but there is no feature for that. But still, a great read if you want something to fulfill your "boxy" (Jeremy Fink pun) needs.
Kierra Mandell
Nov 09, 2015 Kierra Mandell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally did not expect this, at the slightest bit. Although the beginning of the story was weak, it definitely built up, and it resulted in a VERY good book. I recommend reading this book because it makes you question pretty much everything. And the theme is amazing. One of them I thought was awesome was that everyone has their own opinion about the same question, and that we all are pretty much the "same".
Bret Silverman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grace Lin
Nov 01, 2009 Grace Lin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wendy Mass is great writer, the characters were completely believable and fun. At first, I thought the plot was a bit too contrived until I got to the end and realized it was supposed to be contrived! The ending saved it for me and I was happily satisfied.
Lisa
May 20, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this one. Lots of interesting twists and turns. And as usual.... a few tears :)
Paige
Apr 05, 2013 Paige rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm speechless.
Crystal
Jun 21, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rebbeca-caudils
It was pretty good but very, very unique.
Emily
Dec 27, 2016 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middlegradebooks
A little bit slow, but a lovely story of friendship and growth. I even cried at the end! Very touching. I liked Jeremy and Lizzy's very platonic relationship and the way they reacted very differently to everyone and everything they encountered on their quest to unlock the box.
Jo HyunMIn
Nov 04, 2016 Jo HyunMIn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What are the chances of finding the right key you have never seen? I am sure that it will be very hard to find even one key. Since the key can be placed everywhere you can go, you should leave no corner unsearched. Although you spent lots of time searching for key, when you are not be able to get a good result, most of you will finally give up. In this book, however, there is a boy named Jeremy who never give up finding four keys. I largely influenced by his earnest wish and challenges, so I co ...more
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Wendy Mass is the author of six novels for young people, including A Mango-Shaped Space (which was awarded the Schneider Family Book Award by the American Library Association), Leap Day, the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale series, and Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, which earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly magazine. Her most recent book is Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall. Wendy wrote ...more
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“Do you ever think if people heard our conversations they'd lock us up?"
All the time.”
2074 likes
“A fight is going on inside me," said an old man to his son. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you."

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Which wolf will win?"

The old man replied simply, "The one you feed.”
1700 likes
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