Title: Rocket Ship
Page Count: 268
My Rating: 2.5 TURTLES: An okay read. It had its ups and downs, more downs though. Probably don't recommend.
Lincoln and Gary are best friends planning a simple trip to the night rock in the sky. However, they quickly find out that “easier said than done” is far more than just an outdated adage; it is a reality, for the dreamers face obstacle after obstacle in trying to gather the materials they need to build their ship. Not only that, but when their plan is discovered, their two-man field trip becomes much more than that. Now, the captain and the general will have to lead a rescue mission, one of far greater importance than they ever imagined. What would you do? Save only yourself or risk it all to save the lives of others as well as your own?
Rocket Ship is the miraculous, thrilling story of two friends, a tale of two hopefuls, two dreamers, two rescuers and the extremes they go through to save one another and others like them, before the world they live in destroys them all.
I received Rocket Ship in exchange for an honest review.
When I first received this book for review, I could not tell a whole lot about it from the synopsis other than that it seemed to be somewhere between Middle Grade and Young Adult. Was it science fiction, dystopian? The reason I was so confused is that it is actually surrealism, which is not my favorite genre, so part of the reason that I did not like this book so well is due to that personal preference, although that is not the only thing.
I'm a bit torn of whether this is a 2.5 or 3 star read for me. I appreciate the difficult topics that the author addresses, shedding light on the hard lives so many lead, but on the other hand for a relatively short book, it took me a very long time to get through because I was just not motivated to read it. One of the big things right from the get go that made it difficult was the lack of immediacy. I have nothing against third person in general, some of my favorite books are in third person, but a danger with it is that it is much easier to loose immediacy - the feeling of being in the book - while using it. This lead me to feeling that even though I was reading the story, that I was reading a very detailed summary instead, that's the best way I can think to describe it. This was further exacerbated by the amount of telling, not showing that went on in the book.
Another thing that started detracting from my experience after a while was the amount of inner reflection that went on. Due to the third person omniscient narration, I could not tell if the contemplation was supposed to be going on within a certain character, or if it were the narrator trying to impart wisdom into the pages. I felt like this was the author further trying to get his or her (I haven't been able to find anything out about who the author is other than the initials C.O.B.) point across about children having bad lives, but coming together and rising above the struggles society places before them. The amount of this somewhat tangential musing was that it felt convoluted and not horribly original. either.
The last big thing that bothered me that I'm going to address in this review was plot based. The whole point of Gary, Lincoln, and co. building a rocket ship is because they know that their lives are so bad that there can't possibly be anything left of them on Earth. While this could be seen as a metaphor for these kids rising above their challenges and removing themselves from a toxic environment, but it came off to me like they were running away. This kids did not - from what the book said - try to confront their parents before they left, they only left letters assuring them that they would be fine. In the case that some of the parents were the abusers I found this more understandable, but in some cases the parents were just going through a hard time and the kid thought that they'd be better without them. In a book that tried to break down stereotypes and seemed to be geared towards imparting knowledge to kids - since that seems to be the audience - I was a bit disappointed that the end message seemed to be that taking off from your troubles and leaving a note is the way to go. Perhaps this wasn't the authors intention at all, but it is how it came off to me, so I'll guess it will come off that way to others as well.
I might recommend this to someone if they were a die-hard fan of surrealism and I'd be interested to see what they thought, but I don't know if I'd recommend it to kids. I know it is being marketed as a kids book and the main characters are twelve, but it did not feel like a book for children while I was reading it. I'm sorry I don't have more positive things to say, but I have to call them as I see them.
Check out Rocket Ship on Amazon