Thursday, 30 June 2011

Theodore Boone by John Grisham

The back of the book says:
“In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he's only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he's one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk - and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than he expected. Because he knows so much - maybe too much - he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won't stop until justice is served.”

When choosing this book, the synopsis of this book intrigued me.  I’m a law student, and although I haven’t read any of John Grisham’s other novels, I certainly recognised the name and thought this would be a good choice!  However, I’m sorry to say, this was another disappointing read for me! Initially I didn’t realise that the book was aimed at younger readers, however the large writing and the plot itself very much gives this away.  That in itself wasn’t a problem; I quite like easy-to-read books but for me, it wasn’t gripping and it didn’t keep me turning the pages as I’d imagined it would.
It is a very accessible read, and I got through it in just a few hours, however to me it felt like half a book.  There is no cliff-hanger ending implying that there will be a sequel to follow up the story, yet so much is left unanswered (and not in a “leave it to the readers imagination” kind of way).  For example, throughout the book, which focuses on a murder trial, there is reference to a man called Omar Chepee.  This man works for the defendant (accused of murder) and gives menacing looks, follows people etc. and therefore you are constantly waiting for him to do something, yet the book ends and there is absolutely no mention of him.  I must admit, I usually hate it when books (and especially films) leave a lot of the ending to the readers imagination yet this was even worse as it just didn’t seem to come to a natural conclusion. 
If you take the book for what it is (i.e. teen fiction), then it is an OK read and I didn’t hate it but, as an adult reader, I found the whole plot line disappointing.  The Sunday Express had this to say about the book: ‘For any young readers tired of wizards, vampires and Greek gods, there’s now a new kid on the young fiction block, and this one really does have serious powers: Theodore Boone, half-boy, half-lawyer... fans will be pleased to know there will be more of Theo’s adventures to come.’  Unfortunately, I have to whole-heartedly disagree; this book is absolutely no match for the likes of Harry Potter or Twilight!  It’s a shame really as John Grisham has the reputation of Number One International Bestseller and actually the plot has a lot of potential which just isn’t realised. 
Having said that, I haven’t actually read any John Grisham books before, and as a law student, I will be picking up one of his adult books in the near future to see if they fare any better.

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