PJV Quickie: “This novel comes with a warning label: I LISTEN TO DISCO.” Before I even got to the content I knew this would be a fun read!

 Title: Austin Girl and the Legend of Diablo

Author: Carrie Crain

Source: Author provided review copy

Genre: Childrens/Sci-Fi

Published: Oct. 10, 2012

5 Stars

Blurb: Austin Girl, a dispirited teenager, discovers a magic Samurai sword, leading her on a journey to Planet Disco to save her kidnapped Grandpa from the nefarious Diablo, and return to Earth before she becomes a permanent guest.

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This book was way too much fun to read. I laughed at loud so many times that I just had to give it a four star rating. It was seriously just such a great lift to my spirits. I went back and forth from scratching my head and being overtaken by the giggles. I think however, the intended audience will love to read this quirky little novel.

The writing was good. It wasn’t great there were moments where I was saying in my head “Show, don’t tell”. I felt like I was being told this is how it was but not being shown that this was true. However, I know from my own exercises in writing that this is hard to do without becoming wordy. You know what I am talking about. We have all read novels where the author spends so much time using adjectives and cliche phrases that it becomes overbearing. This book was not that. Not to mention I am an old lady and this is very firmly a children’s book. Ms. Crain has a different voice that is for sure. Never before have I read things such as this in a book:

Once upon a time, over the ninth land, beyond thrice kingdom, there existed a

yucky planet called Planet Disco. The planet reeked of shag carpet and Turtle

Wax. The place was about as exciting as repeating sixth grade. An ocean of

quicksand spanning the length of a zillion football fields surrounded a teensy

weensy island. The villainous heat on days ending in ‘y’, reached boiling point

temperatures. The blistering sands were home to creepy creatures called Hovels.

They were bald munchkins with piranha like teeth. With their big ole eyeballs and

foaming mouths, they terrorized anyone and everything.

I had a hard time connecting with the characters because it has been so long since I was a young person. However, I can see a lot of my 12 year old niece in Austin. She’s spunky, mouthy, and has a clear sense of right and wrong that only young and innocent kids have. If you have kids you know everything is very black and white with them. The don’t understand the in between. One example of this is when Austin girl reports her Grandpa missing. She has found blood on his hat. She calls the sheriff and the sheriff says he can do nothing until he has been gone 24 hrs. Actually, that’s not a good example. No one who found blood on their Grandpa’s prized hat would sit down and take that. But you get my point.

Obviously the world building was crazy. Think movies from the ’70’s. Her strongest (and funniest) writing is when she is describing Planet Disco.

In the end this short book was a fun ride, and I would recommend it to anyone in need of a good time or someone who has a quirky youngin’ in their home.

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