Marcus is less than thrilled when his mother inists that the spend the summer at Diamond Beach, living in a very gross and rundown travel trailer. He's even less thrilled when they pull into the cheaper end of the park and realize that they can't even see the beach from where they are. When they travel to the water, they have to pass through the spiffy new area with the expensive trailers, and Marcus' recently divorced mom, Holly, runs into a woman she knew as a girl at the beach. Coco's husband is a tech inventor, and their house is filled with all sorts of upgrades. Marcus meets Coco's stepchildren, Edison and Newton, and they visit Marcus' trailer, only to find out that it has a cellar. In the cellar is a Land of the Lotus Eaters type trap-- it will provide you with the best vacation you could imagine. Edison gets sucked in first, then Newton, and when Marcus tries to get Coco to help, she gets sucked in, too. It turns out that the trailer has a connection to Holly and Coco's past at the beach, and may hold the key to the disappearance of a boy on whom Holly had a crush. Can Marcus and Edison figure out what is going on in time to save everyone from being trapped forever in their own version of paradise? Strengths: I liked Jinks' Living Hell as well as her Pagan's Crusade series, and of course Evil Genius. I wasn't sure I would like this one, but I really did. Even though Jinks is Australian, and a lot of Australian books fall flat for me, she always turns out a good tale. Of course, now I want to go camping in a trailer!
Weaknesses: Not a great cover, which might explain my initial disinterest. Also, this is one of the few books where I would have just cut out the last few chapters. I don't want to give away the great twists and turns in the plot, but when I thought that things had been successfully resolved, the last quarter of the book took off into a completely different direction, and was somehow not what I wanted to read about!
Because this blog is aimed at librarians and patrons of school libraries, I will not review books that are published solely in e-book formats or that are self published. Books should be available through library suppliers such as Baker and Taylor or Follett. Books should fall within the target demographics of this blog.