If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
How’s that for an excellent title for a book?
If You’re Reading This, it’s Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch has been another book on my ‘familarise yourself with the children’s market’ never-ending reading list and it was a rather good read. The sequel to ‘The Name of This Book is Secret’ (that guy gets all the good titles), I hadn’t realised when buying it that it was a sequel, however it reads perfectly well even if you haven’t read the first book. It tells the tale of Cass and Max-Ernest, two children about to be initiated into the secret Terces society and their battles against the sinister Midnight Sun. It is a really good, slightly silly, slightly over the top read, with a brilliant narrator which makes this book unique, starting the book with
I’m sorry – I can’t do it.
I can’t write this book. I’m far too frightened.
And halting the book half way through for a (silly) pop quiz and having an appendix at the back with everything from how to do a certain magic trick, how whispers cross lakes and an interview with himself – with himself as the interviewer.
Oh and kudos for the character of Max-Ernest, who although described as a boy who has been sent to so many doctors who’d diagnosed him with so many conditions which his parents were inclined to believe he had every single one of them, he certainly had Asperger’s like tendencies and it’s always good to see characters with Aspergers, autism or any special need in children’s books.
Oh and whilst I’m talking about children’s characters, after my last children’s book being Inkheart and me disliking how the main child character in Inkheart (Meggie) was written, with me thinking Meggie as a child didn’t quite ring true to me as child, I’ve been slightly paranoid that my dislike of how Meggie was written was nothing, in fact, due to how she was written but more due to the fact that I’m a boring old grown up whose loosing touch. So I am pleased to report that I thought the children in If You’re Reading This were far more realistic, so I’m not that out of touch (hopefully).
Reading this book from a writer’s perspective, Pseudonymous Bosch breaks so many ‘rules’ but he breaks the rules so well, it really really works, it could have so easily been cliched and hackneyed. I’d love to know who Pseudonymous Bosch is (his true identity is a closely guarded secret) because he just strikes me as someone who is probably a really experienced writer who knew exactly what the ‘rules’ are before he broke them, so I bet he’s probably published lots of other stuff under another name (and probably a different style / age range).