My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Adventure, Games
Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
If you like your reads to be partially interactive, this one’s for you. The interaction is done on the reader’s part, so you can decide not to take part of the game and still enjoy the book, but by playing along with the characters, you become even more invested.
I honestly did not care to play the game along with the characters, because it slowed the pace at which I was reading, but in hindsight, I think I should have, because the rebus is an important element of the story.
Still, I found this to be highly addictive and simply a breath of fresh air. There’s always something going on in the story, and there’s a clear progression in regards to both the storyline and game. I enjoyed seeing the later divide people, only to bring them back together later in the game.
The characters aren’t complex, but I wouldn’t accuse them of being one-dimensional. It’s true that we lack background on them—except for a few exceptions—but their personalities are distinct.
This book could have been about Mr. Lemoncello alone and I still would have read it. He’s that great. His personality is unique and he’s just so much fun. I often wanted to know what was inside his head. He was surprising and a delightful man to be around.
What a treasurable book that promotes board games. I’ll be sure to read it again in a few years and this time around invest myself much more in the game.
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