Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator

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Guy Langman, Crime Scene ProcrastinatorGuy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. The title is awesome, and I'm a huge fan of procedural crime dramas so anything involving humor and forensics has to be fabulous, right? In the case of Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, the uneven quality of the writing brought it down. When Guy is describing situations in the present and in his own voice, he's funny and quirky, but the sentimental slumps into memories about things his dad used to say.

Guy is still recovering from his father's recent death, and parts of the book are entries in a journal Guy's therapist asked him to keep to process his feelings as he goes through the five stages of grief. Meanwhile, Guy joins Forensics Club because his best friend, Anoop, tells him this girl Guy has a crush on will be there. Through the nifty tricks he learns in Forensics Club, Guy figures out that he has a brother from his father's previous marriage. He also thinks said brother might be a suspect when a box of valuable coins goes missing from Langman Manor. Did I mention that it takes about 100 pages for anything to actually happen in this book?

I think Josh Berk has a lot of potential as a writer and this cast of characters could turn into something cool if it becomes a series, but as is, this book seems to be having an identity crisis. It's not plot-driven enough to be a mystery and it isn't deep enough to be realistic YA which means readers looking for either in this book will be disappointed.

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