OMG AT LAST! I first read Ten Kids, No Pets when I was about seven, and it's taken until now to get my hands on the sequel. And you know what? Worth tOMG AT LAST! I first read Ten Kids, No Pets when I was about seven, and it's taken until now to get my hands on the sequel. And you know what? Worth the wait :) A lovely dose of nostalgia for a lazy afternoon. Didn't matter that I haven't read Ten Kids in years, I guess because I read it so many times that the family were still so familiar to me.
This time they've packed up and gone on holiday to the beach for the summer. As with the last book, each kid gets their own chapter, which makes the book kind of like eleven slightly-connected short stories, although I found that a few of the chapters didn't really have as much closure as I'd have liked before moving onto the next sibling.
Abbie narrates the train- and ferry-rides to Fire Island, which was fun. She's fifteen now and very embarrassed by her huge family. ;) Candy thinks the house next door is haunted. Faustine goes postal on some fishermen - who are, admittedly, killing their catches rather inhumanely. Hannah plays practical jokes on everyone because she's bored. (view spoiler)[The joke she plays on Abbie is just cruel though - she tells boy wonder Justin that Abbie likes him, and the next day Abbie comes home in tears because Justin's girlfriend, her friend, is mad at her. The silent treatment lasts a week, and I admit I was expecting Hannah to feel guilty and 'fess up, but she DOESN'T. Ugh. (hide spoiler)] Ira gets Lyme disease and has to go to hospital. Jan, who used to be the baby, is trying all sorts of ways to get attention and ends up getting a makeover, but then she doesn't like her new hair so she ends up cutting it all off, oops. Woody gets all crafty and makes some serious cash, and is generally awesome. Gardenia - Dinnie, I don't remember that nickname from the last book - decides that being an extra in Justin's movie is going to be her big break, so she's incredibly annoying in the background of the beach crowd scene until Justin has a word with the director, who gives her a tiny cameo as a dogwalker. Bainbridge meets a girl, who then has to go home, so then he chats up another girl and is so busy with her that he doesn't notice Hannah take baby Keegan off for a walk. And Hardy sets out to discover the mystery of Candy's haunted house.
I think I still like the twins best, and Woody. I felt sorry for Hannah too, but she was a bit too much of a brat here for me to remain sympathetic. :P...more
There's a definite The Gathering kind of vibe going on here, although I didn't find Rift quite as awesome. The changing third person perspective occasThere's a definite The Gathering kind of vibe going on here, although I didn't find Rift quite as awesome. The changing third person perspective occasionally got a little confusing - neither Rob nor Vaughan had THAT distinctive a voice so it was easy to get them mixed up. Still nicely creepy and atmospheric though.
Vaughan's a newcomer in a small town, sent to live with his grandmother while his parents try to make it big in America. There are a group of boys he wants to join in with, but to join their gang he has to do this particularly scary swim. Rob starts training him up, but then the gang kind of dissolves so Vaughan won't need to actually do the swim.
But then along comes the town's creepy pastor, who's pretty much sucking everyone into his cult. And as part of their ritual, there needs to be a sacrifice... someone to do the swim at high tide... and yep, Vaughan is picked. Lucky he knows how to do the swim, but at high tide the necessary air pocket will be missing so it's certain death...
(view spoiler)[Or it would be if not for clever Nona, who hides an air tank in the rocks so Vaughan can hide underwater and breathe for twenty minutes, let everyone think he's drowned, and then swim free when they're all gone. (hide spoiler)]...more