Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sammy Keyes by Wendelin van Draanen

Wikipedia Description: "Sammy Keyes is a series of mystery novels written by Wendelin van Draanen for children aged 9–15. The series focuses on Sammy's adventures as an amateur sleuth. The books, which are narrated in the first-person perspective by Sammy, involve detective fiction as well as comedy. Sammy begins her adventures in the first book as a seventh-grader, and the series will end when she completes the eighth grade. Eighteen books are planned for the series."

My Review: I'm reviewing this series, because I feel like it's greatly under-appreciated. Normally, I hate mystery books, but Sammy Keyes isn't like a normal mystery series. The mysteries are modern and more action-y than Nancy Drew-esq. And the mysteries are only part of the books; the other parts involve Sammy's family, her friends, her personal life, and her school life---all of which are pretty dramatic. She goes through lots of things that most normal kids go through---like crushes and enemies (even though her enemy is a bit more insane than normal enemies are)---and then she goes through things that most normal kids DON'T go through, like a mother who abandoned her to go become a Hollywood movie star; a tricky and illegal living situation; an absent and mysterious dad; an enemy who makes Draco Malfoy look like a bunny; and many more things. Sammy's a tough, independent and gutsy (a.k.a snarky and sassy) heroine who is very much alike Max Ride (from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson; also a very good series). Yet, she also goes through the normal pains of adolescence and teenagerdom---and she keeps a witty, hilarious perspective through it all. Although sometimes she can get on your nerves, this series is a winning, kitschy read, and it's not to be missed by anyone who likes strong female characters. (The supporting cast of characters---including Grams, Hudson, Marissa, and Casey---is wonderful as well.) Oh, and a word to the wise? The series gets WAY better as it goes on.

Covers: Quite honestly, the covers are pretty ugly. They're boring and dull; they don't do the series much justice. Nicer covers would probably have gotten this series more readers, but anyway...even though the series is good, the covers are not.

Overall Grade: A-

No comments:

Post a Comment