Melanie's Reviews > Chomp

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
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Apr 27, 12

bookshelves: kids_books, review-copy
Read in April, 2012

Chomp is a funny book. It is also a little bit crazy and even zany at times. While I love reading books geared for younger audiences, I had trouble not rolling my eyes a few times with this one. It wasn’t so much the crazy incidents that occurred, like Wahoo’s father being hit of the head by a frozen iguana, or the naming his son “Wahoo”, or the fake survivalist reality star that stumbles into trouble at every turn. I was happy to laugh at that stuff and chalk it up to good clean fun, and it was. What I had trouble with though, was some of the character interactions.

Wahoo and his father decide to help out with a TV series so that they can get caught up on financial troubles that started after a frozen iguana literally knocked the father out of work for a while. His Mother flew to Asia to earn some money tutoring, so Wahoo and his father work the TV show together. As they are packing up to leave for the wilderness, they run into a classmate named Tuna who is being abused by her drunken father. This was the part that bothered me. Wahoo doesn’t know Tuna very well, but instead of getting her real help, they take her along with them on their trip. It felt so sudden and random. Naturally Wahoo and Tuna become good friends along the trip and are trying to figure out what to do with her father upon their return. Tuna’s absolutely crazy father ends up chasing them into the wilderness all drunk and shooting at people. I also didn’t like that after Wahoo’s father is shot in the foot, he tells his son to lie to the mother and tell her one of their animals got to it. I know it sounds like I am being harsh, I just think we have to be careful with serious topics such as abuse and promote honesty. I loved the crazy reality star that gets lost and thinks he is turning into a vampire. He has absolutely NO business being in the wilderness alone and the story was funny enough and action-packed without Tuna’s abusive gun-wielding father. Overall, the story was entertaining and I think that younger readers will laugh and enjoy themselves.
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