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Monday, January 3, 2011

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr (Blog Tour)

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour1 Comment

Publisher: Leap Books

Source: Received from Teen {Book} Scene for Blog Tour
Publication Date: 09 Jan 2010
Series or Standalone: Series, Book 1
ISBN: 161603002X
Format: ebook
Pages: 280
Place(s) Traveled to: Big Pine Key, Florida
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First Line: Splash!

Related Posts: Interview with Bonnie J. Doerr // Book Trailer Monday Feature

Island Sting by Bonnie J Doerr was a book that I was really excited about when I first heard about it last year. Its setting, the Florida Keys, is a place where I want to spend more time in…I have visited once but that was just for a few hours during a trip to Florida a few years back. So not only is it a place that I want to know more of its an eco-based mystery….which means science and environmental facts. Island Sting is told from the point of view of Kenzie – who just moved to the Keys with her mom from New York. Her first day there she falls into a canal and helps to save one of the Key Deer and somehow gets involved in a mystery of someone who is killing the deer for sport. 

I think I expected more from Island Sting then I got. I expected a mystery something that I’d have to try and figure out but there was no real mystery. Everything was handed to reader so it was very unfulfilling. I don’t know maybe I just read too many mysteries and so for me this one was no challenge. I also found the writing to be more middle grade in nature than young adult even though all the teens were 16 or so. Although if it wasn’t for the occasional reference to driving a car or high school I’d swear they were more 12 than  16. There were several times I felt like I was being talked down to as things were being explained to Kenzie. For as new girl on the island, the city chick, there was much about island life that she was clueless about.  
I also had some issues with the dialogue. It just came across as stilted and didn’t always ring true for a teen voice. The description to dialogue transitions didn’t always work for me either. There just seemed to be a bunch of words that were edited out so there were these random jumps in events. The character of Angelo also annoyed me. His mood swings were just out of control and I just didn’t see anything about him to like. So it was hard to believe that Kenzie was so head over heels for him….especially in the short amount of time in which this book takes place. 
For me, this book suffered from having too high expectations. I think if I’d expected less I would have enjoyed it more. Perhaps if it were billed more as middle grade that too would have helped me enjoy it more as then the juvenile language of the book would have had more of a place. I’ve been reading a lot of YA over the last few years and I know that a more complex writing style and story can really thrive. There will be at least two more books involving Kenzie Ryan and I think that I will check out the next one before completely abandoning her story. Kenzie has potential and perhaps Island Sting just suffered a bit from being a debut book and that with time the writing and the crafting of a mystery will grow and become more of what I like to see when reading a mystery. Until then this is a book that I can only recommend to the younger reader.

One Response to “Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr (Blog Tour)”

  1. Amber

    I loved that this was set in the Florida Keys. I’ve never been there but this book made me feel like I was there. And I’d never heard of the Key Deer before so that fascinated me. It was a quick fun read & I loved Kenzie. She was impulsive, but she really cared.

    I do agree it’s for younger teens. I thought it was for ages 11-14. That would still still make it a YA, but a young YA.