Today I am happy to take part in the blog tour for Chum by Adam Glendon Sidwell.
The Story- (blurb)
Thirteen-year-old Levi Middleworth insists he's got a Destiny, even if half the internet's tried to bully it out of him with a viral video. When a Hollywood executive in a trim green suit invites Levi to star on a reality TV show aboard a hi-tech pirate ship, Levi thinks his Destiny's finally come a knockin' a bit of fame is exactly what he needs to finally make some friends his eighth grade year. But almost as soon as they set sail, the games aboard the ship turn savage, and he and his new bud Holly must do everything they can to find themselves some Chums little round-headed autonomous toys since failing to do so means getting thrown to the sharks. With the help of Levi's long-lost television hero and a tech-savvy pirate crew, Levi has to rethink his quest for fame in an attempt to save himself, his fellow contestants, and every human being on the beach from a feeding frenzy of grisly proportions.
I so love this author. His stories are amazing and original, and Chum keeps that ball rolling. First off, the main character Levi is a true thirteen-year-old. Somehow Sidwell must have channeled his inner child because the voice of Levi is dead on. At first I couldn't stop thinking, why would this boy get on a ship with no other information? Then I realized, it is exactly what this character would do, what most thirteen-year-olds would do. He wouldn't care about the consequences. Of course, as his character grows, we see a hero form and again and again, this boy is willing to sacrifice himself to save others. I love good, well written characters, and Levi is full of depth and growth, while still being a teenager.
I have to admit that the first half of the book is my favorite. The mystery surrounding the reality show and the chum dolls is so intriguing. I couldn't stop reading. I had to know what obstacle would pop up next and who would get thrown overboard. The tension is perfect and the quickness in which the contestants turn on each other is heartbreaking. I was ready for a book full of bobby traps and riddles, but that's when things change. The reader is then thrown into the role of TV show turned reality, as Levi and a group of submarine pirates take on the evil pirates of Chum. The book lost a lot of its tension here, but the story is so absolutely original that I had to admire Sidwell's craftsmanship.
And the little chum dolls, they are so cute. Somehow he made me care for these strange yellow beings. I was ready to believe they were some type of alternative life form and was so sad to see them go down with the ship. I wanted someone to rescue them.
Yep, this one is worth the read. 4 stars!