The Danger Box by Blue Balliett :)

Dec 17, 2013

The Danger BoxThe Danger Box by Blue Balliett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Danger Box. Ahhh <3
Just kidding.

i picked up this book when I saw it at the library for a number of reasons:

1) Ooh that's an...... interesting cover. Rather reminds me of this one, another personal favorite: Three Black Swans
2) Ooh Blue Balliett!!!! I read her book Chasing Vermeer and thoroughly enjoyed it in fourth grade and I assumed that that meant that her other books were all equally entertaining. Alas!
3) Ahh the blurb is so.... intriguing!
4) Omg dat TITLE~! It just sounds amazing and interesting and VERY mysterious.

So there were a lot of things that I felt had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it didn't work out quite as well as I had hoped it would.

Firstly, the main character, Zoomy, is the son of an alcoholic and a migrant worker. His father is the alcoholic, Buckeye, and he did not claim Zoomy, leaving him under the care of his parents (Zoomy's grandparents). "Zoomy" turns out to be the name of Buckeye's childhood 'invisible friend.' I felt like that concept could be developed a little more, like maybe some special link with Buckeye's childhood friend that becomes a special link between estranged father and son.

Secondly, Zoomy has pathological myopia (he's legally blind), so he wears incredibly thick glasses. This does affect the way he sees, as mentioned in the blurb; but, it doesn't play as big of a role as I had hoped it would, nor is the 'affected way he sees' the way I had anticipated, either. Surely he is almost blind, but most of the time anything related to his eyesight comes up it's usually when he's saying "I can't see! What's going on?" or some other version of that.

Also, I never really understood what the Danger Box really was. In the preface in the beginning of the book, something about "Everyone has their own Danger Box" was mentioned, which really heightened my hopes, but in the end, it seems that the Danger Box is just a box full of treasures and memories?

Additionally, the plot was disorganized, for the most part. I would have liked to know more about Lorrel, the "mysterious girl who doesn't fit in", and her family, as well as her life before in the city.

Really, my major disappointment was that it was never really clear what (view spoiler) It had all sounded so thrilling, so exciting, so mysterious, in the beginning of the book, but then it really fell flat for me.

However, I would probably consider reading "The Wright 3" and "The Calder Game" just because I thoroughly enjoyed "Chasing Vermeer" and those books are (i think?) sequels to it.

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