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Some things you should know about me:
I get into a little trouble once in a while
Okay, a lot of trouble. More than once in a while
Sometimes it's my own fault
BUT SOMETIMES IT'S NOT!
And now I'm being sent back to Hills Village Middle School, the scene of the worst year of my life.
But before that, I need to pass the toughest test EVER. It;s time to save Rafe!
I sat down to read this book on Saturday night. I started around 9pm, and finished the entire book off by midnight. I would have finished sooner, but I kept telling myself I ought to go to bed and umming and ahhing about going to sleep. I should have realised I was hooked into the story and I couldn't go to bed until Rafe made it through to the end.
This was my first introduction to the Middle School series. Despite being 6 books in, I didn't feel like I was missing too much information. Patterson makes sure you have all the information you need as you read along. So he re-caps the main points, which allows this book to be fine as a stand alone. Though he also mentions the other books a few times too, which makes me really want to get them to read too.
In this book, Rafe gets some crap news, followed by more crap news and ends up on this boot camp thing. To me boot camp is or those really out of control teenagers who are on their way to prison. I have watched a few reality TV shows where teens go on these things. They often break the kids in order to get them to have a moment of clarity. Even though I didn't know a lot about Rafe I instantly liked him, and felt that the situation he was in was unfair.
I did admire Rafe's attitude through the trials he has to go through. I found him to be a pretty believable character. A few times when he was in a situation, the descriptions really resonated with me because I had experienced that in some way. The illustrations throughout the book helped to convey some of those feelings as well. The comic strips were fun to read, and helped to break up the prose. While I found them fun, they also made me feel a bit sad because of his low self esteem. The end of the book nicely closed the episode on a relatively positive note. But I'm sure that Rafe will find himself in trouble soon enough for a new book. I think this book would make a good read for a pre-teen or teen. There is definitely plenty of relatable material in here.
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