What was Scholastic thinking?
Walter Dean Myers, the award-winning author of Monster, about a gripping courtroom trial, is the author of a seires called The Cruisers. I read the second book in the series, Checkmate, and wondered what Scholastic was thinking, publshing such a wreck of a book. The narrative is thin and the voice of the main character doesn't ring true for a young, urban middle schooler of today. Worse of all, the story falls all over the place like a deck of cards dropped on the floor.
A chapter a bout a school independend project fell there. A sample article from the student newspaper fell there. A basketball game. A chess game. A student who may or may not be illeagally buying prescription drugs. A date that the main characer doesn't want to go on... then actually does. What a mess.
I kept thinking that if I read on, the plot would eventually emerge. Hey, I've seen it happen before. A bunch of unconnected chapters that eventually tie together. Nice. I like those kinds of books.
But no coherent plot emerged for me. I was thinking that the drug-purcahsing kid maybe faked his enouchter with the police in order to record his friends' reaction and write about it all for his independent study. Now that would be an interesting narrative. Alas, the story ended and nothing like that happened. The deck of cards that the author calls "chapters" was still splayed on the ground in anADHD-enhanced mess as I flipped the last page.
"That's it?" I asked, "Nothing more?"
Nothing. Nothing but a preview of the next installment in the series.
A series? If you made me read one more of these lame, disjointed Cruiser books, I just might have to go out and get some prescription drugs.