Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck

The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck
By Emily Fairlie
Expected publication September 25, 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books

Laurie is less than thrilled to be attending her parents' alma mater, Tuckernuck Hall, home of the Cluckers. The only thing that makes the idea bearable is that Tuckernuck's founder hid a treasure somewhere in the school, leaving clues for intrepid Cluckers to find. If Laurie could just find the treasure and win the glory, maybe she'd be able to convince her parents to let her transfer...

You know, it's weird because I very rarely read mysteries; I'm just not all that interested in the genre and I have a gut reaction to the word (I'm not sure why - I've certainly read and enjoyed some mysteries before). The exception is for children's or young adult lit - in that case, I'm more than happy to read a mystery. In fact, I think mysteries are making a comeback among middle-grade readers (I've had a lot of tween patrons asking for mystery recommendations) and I fully support this. That was my reasoning for requesting a digital galley of this title - it sounded like a great middle-grade mystery with a bit of an epistolary slant (there are emails, lists and clues included in the narrative). Unfortunately, this book did not live up to the promise of its premise. I loved the notion of a long-lost treasure that would lead students on a hunt through the school, following seemingly random and interesting clues. The problem here is twofold - the whole treasure hunt feels a bit too rushed and at the same time, too cheerful, if that can even be a thing. The whole time I was reading this book I just felt annoyed by the overly upbeat tone that I felt like I was reading. Maybe it's just my own reading of the book, but everything seemed a bit too sunshine-y. The second part of the problem is the main characters. They are not fleshed out or sympathetic enough for me to care about their ambition to discover the treasure and attain fame. I found Laurie completely annoying and frustrating and Bud just flat. I really looked forward to this book as a new mystery I could recommend to my readers, but it just didn't work for me.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy provided via Edelweiss.

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