The December 2016 reading challenge was to read a debut novel published in 2016. This one was staged deliberately to give us maximum time, and thanks to Bethany’s keen scoping, we had titles picked out in no time.
Bethany’s Pick:I picked the young adult “Don’t Get Caught,” by Kurt Dinan. I got to meet Kurt a few years back, and I always like getting to read books by people I know. Don’t Get Caught was a really clever and charming YA heist novel. The Prank War to end all Prank Wars has come to Asheville High School and boring Max Cobb is one of a handful of students invited to join the legendary Chaos Club. As they spend the year playing pranks (or seeking revenge), the group of unlikely friends learns how to stick up for each other and what they believe in. This was a great Reading Challenge Pick and I hope this group of pranksters in back in a sequel.
Stacie’s Pick: I live near the hometown of Harry Houdini which made “Mrs. Houdini” by Victoria Kelly an easy choice. The story flips between the beginning and the ending of Houdini’s life, and revolves around unwrapping the mysterious communications that he promised his wife post-mortem. The flash backs and forwards made sense in context of the story. Most troubling, I was bored. My interest peaked at page 194, when the mystery seemed to gather some velocity. Before that, the story was primarily concerned with how the Houdini’s became Harry Houdini, and his wife’s every decreasing role in his life. This was a miss for me, and it it hadn’t been for the Reading Challenge I wouldn’t have made it to the end and unraveled how Harry did indeed communicate with his wife after his death.