My Brilliant Idea by Stuart David
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Plot: The Jackdaw (a.k.a. Jack Dawson) always has a plan. His latest scheme involves hustling his classmates into developing an app that lets you daydream in class.
Review: I wanted to like this one. I really, truly did if for no other reason than that I love Belle and Sebastian. However, the quirkiness and sincerity that makes me love Stuart David as a songwriter didn’t transfer over to his first YA novel. Full disclosure, I feel like a tool for not liking the book, and maybe I’m being too hard on this one, but it just didn’t do it for me. The premise had a lot of promise. Eccentric kid hatches a wild plan to launch an app and jettison to greatness? I can dig it. Jack also has a witty, almost Clockwork Orange type of narrative tone that many people will latch onto. He is mischievous and selfish. All of these things alone make for an intriguing protagonist, and sometimes I find that kind of cheek and crass entertaining, but not with Jack. His shallowness turned me against him from the beginning and it followed him throughout the book. I think the problem was that I saw very little emotion or sincerity from him in the beginning, and it hindered me from investing further.
As a result, reading the rest of the book became a very detached experience that didn’t hold my attention. I wasn’t rooting for him and I just wanted to part ways with the entire cast of characters as fast as possible. However, readers might like this one if they are interested watching just how much things blow up in Jack’s face and his inevitable redemption as he begins to make different life choices. David is a solid writer, so I do hope others gel more with this one than I did.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: Those looking for a protagonist they love to loath might enjoy Jack’s destructive ways.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*