Monday 5 March 2018

BOOK REVIEW: The Misadventures of Marvin Miller by Megan E. Cassidy

The Misadventures of Marvin Miller
Author: Megan E. Cassidy
Genre: MG/YA Coming of Age / Humour
Publication Date: June 12th, 2017

Book Description:
When his friends seem to find girlfriends all at the same time, Marvin is left looking for a date with no prospects in sight. While desperately trying to find a girlfriend, Marvin and his friends stumble from one hilariously improbable situation to the next: accidentally setting a fire, causing a blackout, ruining a wedding, and creating chaos during the final basketball game of the summer season. It seems as if nothing can ever go right for Marvin, until he finally begins a relationship with a new African-American girl in town. The problem is, not all of his friends approve.

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Marvin Miller is one handful, I'll tell you that. I don't think I've ever heard of someone getting up to so much mischief in such a short space of time. While he can't be fully blamed for all the mishaps that take place, he manages to always find himself at the heart of the commotion. Marvin just finished seventh grade and has a mission to start the eighth grade with a girl at his side as it's not cool to be an eighth grader without a girlfriend. The problem: many of the girls at his school despise Marvin because of his behaviour. But there's good news: there's a new girl in town, and she knows nothing about Marvin Miller and his recent catastrophes. Will he get the girl? You can never tell with Marvin Miller.

This was an enjoyable read. I got into the story right away. It was humorous, adventurous and full of adrenalin. With all the hilarious chaos caused by Marvin and his friends, the story manages to implement some hard-hitting themes, including prejudice, racism and courage. I thought the lesson and subject matter was handled with great care without being too overbearing and too preachy. I have to be honest, after about the first half of the book, Marvin's antics started to feel a little excessive. Boys will be boys, but it just seemed a little too much going from one troubling situation to the next with no real focus on anything else, and there were some interesting characteristics and storylines to these characters that I thought were hugely overshadowed in favour of seeing how much mischief Marvin and his friends could cause.

It was a good story that lost it's appeal a little in the middle. I did love the ending with the interaction between Marvin and Riley and his mother shouting out his name. It reminded me of Home Alone. It was a good read, and it definitely made me interested in finding out more, so I might read on.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Own copy

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