Thursday, April 29, 2021

Best Nerds Forever

Patterson, James and Grabenstein, Chris. Best Nerds Forever
May 3rd 2021 by Jimmy Patterson
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Finn is biking home when a sinister, dark van starts to follow him on a treacherous road, and when he dives into bushes at the side of the road to escape it, he ends up going over a steep embankment and dying on the rocks below. He comes back as a ghost and gets to see his family and friends grieving and having his funeral, and meets his grandfather, who is not exactly helpful in solving the mystery of why Finn is a ghost. He suspects that the older brother of a boy who has bullied him might have been driving, and decides that in order to move on, he needs to solve the mystery. While hanging out at his school, he meets Isabella, the ghost of a teen girl who had gone missing and was never found. She doesn't remember as much about the human realm after so much time has elapsed, so Finn helps her as well. He sees his father being very angry with Finn, and blaming video games on his son's demise. Will Finn be able to put both his and Isabella's lives to right so that they can move on. 
Strengths: Patterson's "jimmy"  books are always popular, even when they are titles that I'm not very fond of, such as Pottymouth and Stoopid. (Which I did buy, and which kids do read. Sigh.) Finn is a pleasant enough character, and he has good intentions for helping his own family and Isabella. The two work together to solve the mysteries. There's some fun scenes of Finn capitalizing on his ghostly qualities. He realizes that his untimely demise was caused not by someone evil, but by his own fear. This is similar to Fry's recent Ghosted
Weaknesses: This was very sad, and the scenes with Finn's father destroying his gaming station were heart wrenching. This did take a bit of a twist at the ended that made it not quite as sad.
What I really think: Like this team's I Funny books, this is not really all that funny.  Maybe it's just me, and others are not as bothered by children dying and coming back as ghosts. When it is children who died in the past and come back as murderous ghosts, I'm totally fine with that, but somehow modern children dying strikes me the wrong way. Doesn't matter what I think: this will be a popular title among readers who like this imprint. Available in paper over board format that will last ten years, tops. 
Ms. Yingling

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