Jason's Reviews > Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper
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Nov 14, 10

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I have mixed feelings about this book, which is about a boy who can see ghosts and is put in a special classroom where he is subjected to an inept counselor for a prolonged period of time. It was wildly clever, entertaining, and thoughtful at its best and deserves to be commended for its use of language and storytelling. My favorite was the horse named “Sociopath.” These are rare feats these days, to be sure.

The actual story gave me much more trouble though. As much as it was meant to be silly and inventive, surely something more ominous could’ve been invented rather than the vague threat of being “cured.” Milrose and Arabella must undergo countless pointless exercises, some of which struggled to keep my attention. I found myself wanting to go more into the details of their growing affections for each other. Their interactions were surprisingly congenial. What does it mean that they always said “you are kind” to each other? Instead, getting stuck between the walls seemed an unsatisfactory way of having them leave their den without having them escape. I wasn’t too moved by the ultimate climax either, feeling more sorry for their counselor, Massimo Natica, than anything else.

Despite all this, I would still recommend the story to readers of the young-adult genre. See if the playfulness of the language works for you. The mix of antiquated and modern language was unique. Reading “dude” and “chick” seemed weird, but I appreciated the birthmark, ghost chemistry, and naming tropes. If Mr. Cooper is still out there writing, the one thing I would urge him to do is add a bit more complexity to his story. Thanks for a quality read!
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