If you know me, you know it isn't too often that I read anything middle grade. I mostly stick to young adult and adult fiction. So when I pick up a middle grade series it is often a big deal! Usually it is re-reading childhood favourites but this is not the case. Simply because this middle grade mystery series is so wonderful, I had to write some mini reviews for you!
Title: This Book Is Not Good For You (Secret #3)Author: Pseudonymous BoschPublisher: Little, Brown Books for ReadersPublished Date: 1st January 2009Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: Between the pages of this book lies the secret to the best-tasting chocolate in all the world. I promise, your taste buds will tingle. Your palette will sing! Oh no, have I accidentally tempted you to read this book? I will warn you, however, the most delicious things are never good for you...and this story is particularly scrumptious!
In this tooth-rotting adventure, Cass's mom has been kidnapped by the evil dessert chef and chocolatier, Señor Hugo! The ransom...the legendary tuning fork. Can Cass and Max-Ernest find the magical instrument before it's too late? Will they discover the evil secret ingredient to Señor Hugo's chocolate success?
If you're tempted, take a taste, but just remember...this book is not good for you.
Review: This is the third in a series and a really quick read, mostly aimed for kids about 9-12. But I still enjoyed reading it myself because it’s something light, playful and a pretty good mystery/detective story as well.
This one continues to follow the story of Cassandra, Yo-Yoji and Max-Ernest. I won’t tell you much, seeing as the content of this book is highly secret (^^) but I will say it has something to do with a cursed Aztec artifact, an evil and deranged chef, a secret lair of cocoa-crazed monkeys and the most dangerous chocolate ever created.
What I love about this book is how it’s fun, but you’re still learning from it. With the help of footnotes you can learn a lot of new, general knowledge as well as get more from the story. I'm personally a fan of most books which use footnotes. Also, we get the author talking to us as people in the book occasionally, as well as ‘invisible’ chapters and other creative bits like this. Which always makes a book more enjoyable. Besides, this book is about chocolate! How can that ever go wrong?
I don’t really have much more to say about this. Max-Ernest has some strange things going on between his divorced parents that involves an argument over gluten-free spaghetti, Cassandra is busy trying to find her biological parents and trying to identify who she is and arguing with her adoptive mother, and Yo-Yoji is just hoping to get back to being close friends with Max-Ernest and Cassandra after his secret was revealed.As you can see, a lot of different themes are also crossed here.
Synopsis: The Secret Series continues in this dangerous and daring fourth adventure.
Cass finds herself alone and disoriented, a stranger in a dream-like, medieval world. Where is she? Who is she? With the help of a long-lost relative, she begins to uncover clues and secrets--piecing together her family's history as she fights her way back to the present world.
Meanwhile, back home, Cass is at the hospital in a deep coma. Max-Ernest knows she ate Time Travel Chocolate--and he's determined to find a cure. Can our expert hypochondriac diagnose Cass's condition before it's too late? And will he have what it takes to save the survivalist?
Review: I read this directly after reading the third one, which is not something I usually do. When I read a series I like to read two or more books in between so that I don’t feel the books get too same-y. But this time I really wanted to keep reading this mystery series seeing as the previous book ended on such a cliffhanger.
Our familiar trio of Cassandra, Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji return in this book with some new characters in tow, like Daniel-Not-Danielle, the Glob, the Jester and Anastasia as well. Cassandra is in grave danger, and Max-Ernest must save her before it’s too late. While Cass is racing through time, Max-Ernest is racing against it. Either way, the past and present (and even future) all play together to unlock bits of the mystery continued from the previous book.
What I liked so much about this book was that it had a lot of focus from Max-Ernest’s perspective, even though we usually get to see more from Cassandra’s. This is why Max-Ernest became my favourite character. We get to see how much he cares for his friends, how much it hurts to be replaced and also how to deal with separated parents who seem to reattach themselves to each other. Aside from all this, Max-Ernest has his own quirks, like his illness and undying love for chocolate.
I’m going to keep this fairly short because I don’t want to give away any major plot points. But go read this!
Olivia’s Question: Chocolate or vanilla?