Tag Archives: Floors

Wednesday Book Review: Floors, and a Huge OMG Moment

First, my OMG moment. Look!

That's Me!!!

That’s me on the front page of wordpress.com, in their FreshlyPressed section! I always thought it would be cool to be up there one day, but I never expected it to actually happen. I mean, most of these people are amazing bloggers, and somehow I and my crappy iPhone photo made it up there. And for it to happen with a post that came about because I was being lazy, well, that’s just ironic. Maybe I’m at my best when I’m also at my laziest…hmmmm…. They’re probably just taking pity on me anyway. The WordPress gods are probably sitting there thinking, “Poor kid suffered through half an english major and journalism, and this is all she’s got? We can throw her a bone. Afterall, it won’t cost us anything.” To which I say, thank you WordPress gods. May you be blessed for your charity.

And now, moving on to the real reason you’re probably here…

There is no better remedy for a stressed out mind than a little lighthearted adventure. And there is no better place to find that adventure than on the Juvenile Fiction aisle. And I really have been rather stressed. There’s just no two ways about it, moving is stressful, and I am in the thick of it. Thus, I turned this week to Patrick Carman’s newest offering: Floors.

It was the ducks that got me, really.

I’m a big fan of Carman’s The Land of Elyon series, but I’ve skipped out of his last few capers because, for whatever reason, they just didn’t interest me. But this premise sounded fascinating: an excentric hotel filled with wacky inventions and hidden floors? A mysterious disappearance? Ducks that could save the day? Yes, please!

One part Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, one part A Series of Unfortunate Events, and two parts pure fun, I really enjoyed this little book. Leo and his widower father, Clarence, are the maintenance men at the Whippet Hotel, a strange, fascinating place with exotically themed rooms such as a room made of cake, one that functions as a giant pinball machine, and a room run entirely by robots. There is also a park on the roof, which is home to the hotel’s six pet ducks.

It’s an idyllic life for a young boy, until his best friend, the hotel owner, Merganzer D. Whippet, goes missing, and the hotel mysteriously begins to fall apart. As Leo and his dad rush to keep things running, Leo begins to suspect someone is trying to sabotage his hotel. But who? Could it be Ms. Sparks, the grouchy hotel manager? What about the snooty Yancy’s, the hotel’s newest guests, and their bratty daughter, Jane? With so many odd people inhabiting this place, it could be almost anyone! He also starts receiving mysterious boxes, apparently from Mr. Whippet. Leo doesn’t know what’s going on, but one thing is clear: it’s up to Leo and his new friend, Remi, to get to the bottom of this, and save the hotel!

This was a really fun, quick read, and I really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t Carman’s best work. His Land of Elyon series was more enthralling, deeper, and I thought it was more original. The elevators and innumerable secret floors and rooms smacked of Roald Dahl, and though he began to touch on important subjects, like deceased or absentee parents, he never brought those topics to any fruition. But, I could be proven wrong. During the last chapter, I closed the book for a moment, and discovered that this is just the first book sin a series.

Surprise!

Notice the sign above the elevator? How it's pointing at one, but can go as high as three? How much you wanna bet that there will the three books in the series? Tricky, Pat. Tricky.

So maybe he will hit on those things in later books. He certainly left it open for subsequent editions with a clear-cut nemesis (Ms. Sparks), and a recipe for trouble (a ten-year-old hotel owner? Yeah, that’ll turn out well).

I really did enjoy this little journey, though. And ten-year-old me would have enjoyed it even more. I’m not sure, however, if I’m committed enough for two more books. We shall see.

Currently, I am still plugging away at Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, though it’s something that I find myself reading in spurts. I’ve set aside The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb for now, not because I couldn’t get into it, but because I don’t have time to move and read a full-sized novel all at once. So instead, I’m reading these two skinny books:

Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and Annie Dillard's The Writing Life. I apologize for the blurry-ness. Remember, crappy iPhone pictures?

I’ve wanted to read both of these for a while now, and I only have the time/attention span for something short right now, so it’s perfect.

What about you, friends? What are you currently reading? Have you had any OMG moments of your own this week?

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Filed under Book Reviews, Books, Wednesday Book Review