Friday, September 26, 2008

Enchanting Review: The Big Game of Everything

Contemporary YA
ISBN# 978-0-06-074034-4
288 pages
Print – Available September 2008

Rating: 3 Enchantments

Union Jack (pronounced Onion Jock) is a relatively normal guy except for the fact that his family is rather eccentric. If one couldn’t already tell from Jock’s unusual name, the people Jock resides with lean a little more towards loony. Jock’s father Leonard, a hairdresser, probably spends more time trying to convince his customers to not get their hair cute, and Jock’s younger brother Egon, Jock’s spokesdevil, is physically larger than Jock and enjoys terrorizing him and other people (in a friendly way of course). But through all this strangeness, Jock still loves his family because, well, they’re his family.

If there’s one person in Jock’s family he admires the most, it is his Grampus. This is thy Jock looks forward to a summer of helping run Grampus’ not-quite-finished golf course. But Jock’s not going to get the simple summer he expected, especially after two of Grampus’ old friends show up at the golf course. With the introduction of The Big Game of Everything, Jock’s relationship with Grampus as well as his view of the world shifts, and it’s up to him to discover what really is most important to him.

THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING turned out to be only a mediocre story, which was a disappointment to me. Based on the back-cover summary, I was expecting a laugh-out-loud story that was meaningful, but instead, I got only a couple of chuckles and some confusion. Part of this is a result of the wacky characters; I felt the characters’ eccentricities worked against the story because they never truly gained my sympathy. The plot was pretty boring most of the time as well, which made me lose interest in the story most of the time. I think that Lynch was trying to create a more thought-provoking novel, but THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING failed at this because I couldn’t concentrate long enough on the story to really think about it. On the positive side, the weird characters did lead to some humorous situations and there was one exceptionally well-written scene towards the ending. However, for the most part, I felt like I was missing the big idea which was never explicitly stated. If you’re the type of reader who likes to look for meanings deep within stories, then you should read this book, but otherwise, I do not recommend it.

Chris Lynch is the author of several other novels for young adults including FREEWILL, SHADOW BOXER, and SLOT MACHINE. You can visit him online at his website:

Rachael Stein
Enchanting Reviews
September 2008

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