Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Did you miss me? I know I missed all of you, but let's face it...2017 is not living up to the hype as of yet. Work has pretty much taken over my life and finding time to simply enjoy the wonders of reading has been about as easy as locating that proverbial needle in a haystack. ~whispers~ There was even one day this week that I didn't get to read anything.... *-* Yeah, it was scary. Lucky for me, I continued to plug away at the old reading list and I'm up to speed on obligations, tours, and the like; lucky for you, I'm about to share the latest ebook that I finished not so many hours ago (seriously, like maybe 3 hours, tops). It's a Middle Grade Fiction title filled with word play, puns, and curiosities galore, but it also has a dark sadness about it too. Sound intriguing? Well then, it's time to head on over to Above Average as we join an adventure already in progress. Ready or not, here comes today's ebook of choice...
About the book...
James isn’t the world’s greatest kid, but he’s not the worst, either: he’s average! When he decides to become the most average kid who ever lived, James is transported to another world where he meets Mayor Culpa, a well-dressed talking Scapegoat who recruits him to become the new King of Average.
He’s joined on his quest by a professional Optimist and his grouchy companion, an equally professional Pessimist. Together, they set out on a journey of self-discovery that leads them all the way from the Sea of Doubt to Mount Impossible, the highest peak in the Unattainable Mountains. When James stumbles into a Shangri-la called Epiphany, he uncovers the secret of who he really is.
Follow James on his hilarious, adventure-packed journey to find self-worth in this heartfelt middle grade novel The King of Average by debut author Gary Schwartz.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be TRULY average?
I mean, you'd never have to aspire to anything, each day being the say would be preferred, and nothing out of the ordinary would befall you on the daily. Yes, my friends, life would be sweet if we could all coexist in the Land of Possibilities...or would it? That all depends on how you look at it...
Here we have the story of young James. His home life is less than ideal as he's being raised by a jaded mother who can't see passed her own nose to acknowledge, let alone do anything about, the one that did stick around and needs her love and attention...her son. Instead, she coops herself up in her room (teenage style) and prattles on and on on the phone about what a waste of space (among other things) our young lead it. Can we say HOLD ME BACK? I'm not a parent (beyond my fur kids) but that struck me as just utterly wrong. Kids shouldn't feel as if they're in the way, holding back their parents from a better life. They ARE what make it a better life...and anyone that says otherwise should go the way of Scrooge's initial reaction to his well meaning nephew.
One day, James is out for a walk when he stumbles upon Mayor Culpa and the "little bird" who tells you an awful lot but is wise in his own way and with a little persuasion, he's off to claim the throne of Average. That is, if he can prove himself worthy of such a station and complete a little quest. Just a small one, really. Its actually a gimme of sorts considering nothing above average is expected of him. It's rather nice to be rid of expectations now then, isn't it? Hmm, I'm not quite sold on that part because really, if we've nothing to strive for and remain content in our own little world wouldn't it be rather boring? I mean, life is for adventure, trying new things, stumbling and falling, finding our humor and sharing good times with those around us. It takes a trip to the Land of Average, making friends with Scapegoats, Professional Optimists, and exiled royal children, outsmarting Ninny's, scaling impossible heights, and taking a leap of faith for James to see what's at the heart of his ache. Once uncovered though, will he be able to handle all that is revealed? With the help of some good friends, he just might...
I was rather fond of this story from start to finish. The word play is out of control, the characters memorable, and the tale being spun, fantastic enough to draw you in while heartfelt enough to surprise even the most everyday of readers. It was SO ROUGH having to see James treated the way he was, but I was so happy to see him hang on with BOTH hands to the family he's found, motley crew though it may be. Despite being all about average-ness, the quest was on the extraordinary side as they traversed lands never seen, faced dangers unknown, and a finally dealt with how to get past our biggest enemy, ourselves.
Overall, a great read. You'll be kept on your toes by this average (or not so) bunch while silently thanking the stars that you're on the outside looking in. One bit of caution though, there are quite a few dangerous situations with tough consequences, but with a little guidance, I think the intended audience will make its acquaintance rather easily and the lessons learned, last a lifetime.
About the author...
Connect with Gary Schwartz online...
Special thanks to Pam at Aurora Publicity for the ebook for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those tours on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!