Chomp

 
3.0
 
4.0 (1)
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Chomp
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
March 27, 2012
ISBN
978-0375868429
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Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle.  His father is the unpredictable one. 

When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. 

They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .

It's anyone's guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival". . . .

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Antics in the Everglades!
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Review copy received from publisher for YA Books Central.

Wahoo's dad, Mickey Cray, has a business renting exotic animals for film sets. While he is recovering from an iguana-induced concussion, Wahoo's mom has to go to China, and Wahoo accepts a contract to supply animals for Expedition Survival! during his summer vacation so the family has some money coming in. The star of the show, Derek Badger, stages most of the show, and there's never any real danger, and Mickey gets so annoyed with his showmanship that he sabotages the filming in small ways, to the amusement of Wahoo as well as the film crew. Wahoo needs some amusement-- he's still concerned about his father's headaches, as well as Tuna, a girl from his class. Tuna lives with her alcoholic, abusive father in a trailer in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart, and after her most recent beating has sought refuge with the Crays. When one of Derek's stunts goes terribly wrong and he is bitten on the tongue by a bat, the Everglades become dangerous for real. Tuna's father is hunting her down, Derek is roaming about in an infection induced state of paranoia that he will turn into a vampire like Dax Mangold from the Night Wing books, and Wahoo needs to make sure that Tuna stays safe and Derek's injury doesn't ruin his father's business. Sound hectic, complicated, and a bit hilarious? Absolutely.
Strengths: Derek is a great character, sort of the evil, bumbling twin of Steve Irwin. His own hubris makes it funny that Mickey Cray turns animal after animal against him without injuring him. Hiaasen always does great running-around-avoiding-danger; this reminded me a little of the late, great Donald Westlake. I am also glad to see that the publisher has kept the same style of covers-- Hoot came out in 2002, and the cover doesn't seem dated at all.
Good Points
Strengths: Derek is a great character, sort of the evil, bumbling twin of Steve Irwin. His own hubris makes it funny that Mickey Cray turns animal after animal against him without injuring him. Hiaasen always does great running-around-avoiding-danger; this reminded me a little of the late, great Donald Westlake. I am also glad to see that the publisher has kept the same style of covers-- Hoot came out in 2002, and the cover doesn't seem dated at all.
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
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Hiaasen is Hysterical
(Updated: May 05, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
I've read several of Carl Hiaasen's books for adults, but this is my first expedition into his fare for younger readers. He definitely brings his characteristic humor and absurdism to his works for younger readers, too. In fact, I think I liked this better than some of his books for adults that I've read.

The characters are a seriously wacky bunch. Wahoo lost his right thumb trying to show off to a girl; obviously, he really knows what girls like. Mickey has perpetual double vision because of getting hit on the head by that iguana. Derek is a chubby, klutzy survivalist star. Tuna, my personal favorite, dreams of being a taxonomist.

From the names, the plot, the first sentence, etc, you can probably tell that this is a silly book. There are a couple of serious themes, but, mostly, this is just a hilarious adventure. Make yourself some popcorn, sit back and prepare to laugh heartily!

If you like Dave Barry's Big Trouble, you'll undoubtedly enjoy Chomp.
Good Points
humor
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