Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review - Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (5/5 stars)

I have heard that Hiaasen is a great mystery/humor writer and was eager to read one of his books.  I picked up "Hoot" because it looked good and, guess what, it was really really good.

Roy has just moved to Florida from Montana, he is the new kid at school...again.  He's used to it though, he moves around a lot.  Then on the bus he sees a boy running without shoes and senses a mystery to be solved.  Thus starts a story about mysteries, practical jokes, outwitting bullies, and saving endangered species.

I really loved this book.  All the characters were wonderful and believable.  Hiaasen creates an excellent mystery, with great humor, while tackling a number of social issues that kids and adults can both relate too.  A great description for this novel is eco-thriller.  Between trying to find a place for himself in Florida, Roy gets caught up in a mystery surrounding burrowing owls and the huge corporation trying to take out their home.  It was hard to put this book down, I basically read the whole thing in one sitting while at the airport.

I really have no complaints with this book.  Hiassen's writing is very readable and the dialogue between characters is well done and very natural sounding.  I was impressed that not only did he create a great mystery but he also dealt with issues like bullies, bad home life, the things companies will do to make money, endangered species, and how one person can make a huge difference if they put their mind to it.  It was also nice to read a young adult book where the parents were actual realistic and decent people.  Roy's parents are good people, who help out their son the best they can...too often in young adult books the adults are inept and it was nice to see adults portrayed more realistically.

This was a great book.  I am going to get Hiaasen's other young adult books "Flush" and "Scat" to read as soon as I can.  I would also like to check out his adult books.  I recommend this book to people of all ages and people with all different sorts of interests.   If you like mysteries and eco-thrillers than this book will definitely be right up your alley.  If you don't...well you should read it anyway.  It is one that I am keeping to read again.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The Young Adult Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge

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