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Monday, November 15, 2010

Blind Feedback on Installment #1 from 6th grader

This is my first bit of blind feedback. I call it blind feedback because I do not have any direct contact with the middle school student providing it nor do I know who they are. The review copies are made available by a middle school librarian. He finds readers and forwards feedback he receives.

Demographic: 6th grade boy in CA middle school containing smart and gifted children.

Excellent novel! Has great potential to become a bestseller. I loved the way it uses flashbacks and the idea of a "living book"(By the way I would never think of destroying it because it is so good).
[The book threatens to burn your brain out if you try and damage it.]
Two problems but otherwise good. One, it might hard to follow to some people because of the disrupted plot, I understood it just fine but it can be confusing at times. Two, elaborate more some things are left unexplained and therefore understandable until later in the book. I look forward to the next book!

He is correct in that the book can be confusing at times due to the jumping around in time. At one moment you may be talking to the present day character, at the next moment you might be reliving the past in something similar to a virtual reality setup, seeing the character in the past. If the character has time travel capability, the future version of the character may appear to make sure you interpret events correctly, so his future will occur. The effect is similar to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, which many people found confusing when it was first published.

Elaborating on some of the unexplained details can be difficult because some of the unexplained details can form the punch line in the next book when they are explained. Still, I can take a look around and see if there are any that I can go a bit further on without revealing the surprise.

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