Julie's Reviews > Chomp

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
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's review
May 05, 12

bookshelves: teen

I read this book on two levels: one as a book for kids and one as a huge fan of Hiaasen's adult fiction. Hiaasen as a writer for kids is a hip choice for reluctant readers. In his young adult books, he sets them in south Florida and has troubled kids from dicey unconventional backgrounds becoming eco warriors championing animals and their habitat over the greedy absurdity of adults. For Chomp one can insert here Everglades, reptile wranglers, and slimy Hollywood types producing a slimy nature reality show. Invariably there are loads of confused adults with poor decision making skills that are bailed out by wise disenfranchised kids. If this were the first young adult Hiaasen book I had read maybe I wouldn't be so jumpy about it but, he's really overdone this formula now. This never quite got off the ground for me because it was lacking a character that I could really root for. Mickey Cray, the dad adult animal wrangler, was surprisingly not effective as the co-hero with his son Wahoo. That said I would like to throw karma out there to encourage Carl Hiaasen to indulge himself in R rated adult fiction once again where the characters can swear and be absolutely without any morals whatsoever. The preposterous situations and grotesque cartoon villains work much better out of the PG-13 hemisphere. That humor is leg slapping and I miss it. Hiaasen's books always blast our popular culture but, this book seemed as if it were trying to curry favor with the Hollywood film makers he is making fun of with the pat plot and graphic violent scenes. Kind of confused.

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