I review books. For money. But I don’t do it for the money. I do it for the opportunity to completely destroy another human being. And get money for it.
I received a shipment of books to review today and I started with the children’s books because they’re short. They also sometimes rhyme and that’s just fun. So I started with the first children’s book because it had fewer pages and a larger font than the other children’s book. And I hated it right away.
For no discernible reason whatsoever, this book’s setting is a normal town with normal people in it, but there are also a few residents whose heads are shaped like fruit and they are named after the fruit their heads look like. And the bad guys in this town (this is the John Grisham of kids’ books, by the way) are just a bunch of freaks. One of the bad guys actually eats live chickens, head first. It’s like the author doesn’t even realize that eating a chicken head with the beak still intact means that pokey beak can slice its way through the digestive tract and lead to death by internal bleeding and septic poisoning. He really should have done his research.
Also, the dedication was really, really profoundly stupid. A dedication is so important to the book as a whole that there are whole books about the dedications and they uncover the mysterious story of why So-and-So-the-Famous-Author dedicated it to his cleaning lady, or something cool like that. This book was dedicated to “my family and the color yellow.” The eye rolling was both required and almost painful.
When I actually sat down at my computer to write my review, I began with the pertinent info on the book and my verdict: two stars. It was saved from one-star land by the fact that I really do like the color yellow and I’m only a little bit jealous that I didn’t think of it first. But as I began to tear this book apart syllable-by-syllable and expose every minute thing that was wrong with the universe now that this book exists, I thought maybe I should do a little digging on who this author really is.
He’s a first grader. No, not for the twenty-third time. The author is actually six years old and is missing one of his front teeth because the other one isn’t loose yet. And he’s cute. I learned all that by flipping the book over and looking at the blurb about him.
When I think about how I almost gave birth to a serial killer by writing a scathing review of the atrocity that is this book, I did feel a little bit guilty for this author’s future victims. He’ll probably start with his own parents. And the kid who delivers the newspaper because he’ll walk in on the slaying. I just single-handedly laid the groundwork for the next car driving through a crowded McDonald’s at lunch time.
Fortunately, I was able to delete my review and make a few changes. The encouraging kind, not the kind that suggests maybe he shouldn’t attempt to write anything ever again, including a grocery list. Because with my luck, I’ll be waiting right there ready to argue the lack of character development and a solid plot line on his list of bomb-making items he needs from the hardware store.