Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chomp (review)

4/5 stars

Chomp (Goodreads | Amazon) is a fun, fluffy, adventurous book.  I randomly grabbed this audiobook from the library and it's perfect for a car ride, I suspect the whole family would enjoy it. Wahoo Cray doesn't have a normal life.  He's surrounded by alligators, snakes, monkeys and all other animals that are tempted to eat him.  Even though he lost his thumb to Alice the Alligator (totally his fault he reminds us throughout the novel), he's got a pretty good life with his animal wrangler father.  Sure they're behind on the mortgage, and his father has an iguana-induced concussion, but his parents both love him.

When reality TV-star Derek Badger decides to film an Everglades episode of his famous show Expedition Survival, it looks like it might be Wahoo's family's financial salvation.  Only problem is Derek isn't much of a survivalists and Mickey Cray, Wahoo's father, has a low threshold for bullshit.

This story is a rollicking adventure that takes you through the everglades, following Derek's misadventures as he tries to "put the real back in reality TV" and Wahoo's attempts to keep the job to save his home and keep their buffoon reality star alive.  When his classmate Tuna joins the shoot, taking a break from her abusive father, it only complicates an already crazy situation especially when her father arrives in the everglades with a gun.

One flaw you could say about this book, is that it goes down too many bunny trails.  But that was part of the fun.  Yes you have Mickey's concussion, the diva reality star, the mortgage crisis, Tuna's abusive father -- which all sounds like a bit much.  Yet, it works.

This book was perfectly narrated.  The humor and ridiculousness was captured perfectly.  It's hard to imagine the book without the narration.  Oddly enough, it had a celebrity narrator but I didn't realize that until he introduced himself at the end of the last CD.  Bravo James Van Der Beek, you captured this book so perfectly that I never even realized your voice was familiar.  Sometimes famous actors as narrators make me nervous (though mostly they've all been good) because I worry they're selected for name-recognition not talent.  But this book was excellent so I will look for him as a narrator again.


Fly to the Sky said...

YAY!! So glad you liked it!! I really like this author and loved this as well as his other MG books. Great review!!

Cassi Haggard said...

I might have to check out his other MG books. This was so much fun. Exactly what I needed for car rides.