Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review of Elisa Ludwig's "The Coin Heist"

     When it takes me longer than two days to post reviews, that's a sign I'm bored to death trying to get through whichever book I am currently reading. Time between reviews, 5 days. I have been inconsistent with how fast I read books, but consistent in how I read the books I enjoy in two days, and the ones I dislike in nearly a week. It is throwing off my schedule, and it is difficult to account for whether or not I'll like a book. By the time I start reading the first chapter, I have already set myself in stone, because it is just as important to read books I detest, as it is to read the ones that make my week. That way, I know what works well, and what falls flat.

    If you're going to have four main characters, make them all uniquely distinguishable. Not just different appearances in backstories, because if they all speak like the same person, it is easy to mix them up. Ludwig was able to shove all the characters into the standard high school cliques, nerd, burnout, popular overachiever, and jock. Then it took the breakfast club, and mixed it with a watered down Ocean's Eleven. Then it took the easy route, setting the main characters attracted to each other.
    If I could add something that this book sorely needed, it would be a villain with a face. The villain in this book was that the characters made a mistake in their plan, or maybe hormones. Otherwise, the threat was nullified because there was nobody throwing himself/herself in the way. The motives were also lacking, because these characters were all doing it for money, but most of them did not justify why they would risk imprisonment for money. One character seemed to only do it because she could hack into the Coin Mint's system. Another did it because he lost his football scholarship to an academics based college prep high school with a poor football team.
    This school was already throwing its money down the drain drafting football players, before it got robbed by the dean. This school has millions of dollars in funding, and somehow entrusted all of that to the dean, rather than a treasurer. And the guy manages to blow $50 million dollars without the school noticing.
    I found the logic in this book so flawed, and the story arc so predictable, I had no drive to see what would happen next. If this ever winds up on my shelf, I hope someone stages an elaborate heist to steal and take it far away.


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