Thursday, July 9, 2009
Project Sweet Life
My partner Karen sent me a link to The Horn Book that reviewed a book she is currently reading, Operation Redwood, and one I had just finished Project Sweet Life, by Brent Hartinger. It's always fun when I find out that the stuff I'm reading is making other reading lists as well, so I thought I'd give it a review.
Three 15 year old boys find out on the first day of summer that their dads are requiring them to find jobs for the summer. All three are feeling cheated out of their last summer in which jobs are "optional." According to Dave, the summer you are 15 is the last summer that you don't HAVE to get a job, you can if you want, but you don't have to. His two buddies Curtis and Victor agree and so the three set out on a series of get rich quick schemes so they don't have to have jobs. The first is a garage/porch sale where the boys sell all of their valuable things and fall $1000 short of their goal. It looks as if they just might pull of Project Sweet Life until an accident damages a classic car and they have to forfeit all of their profit. The boys continue on a series of adventures that include looking for bank robbers, searching for buried treasure and guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar at the mall. They also continue lying to their parents about jobs and go to some pretty elaborate schemes to cover up the fact that they are not really working.
I really liked the adventure of it all, the escapades of the three are funny and kept me interested. The part of the book that sort of bothered me was the lying and the message in the end. All three boys feel some guilt about deceiving their parents but they don't come clean until the end of the summer. Without spoiling anything, the boys accomplish their goal and it ends right and all, but I couldn't help thinking through the whole book, wouldn't it have been easier to just get a job? but then there wouldn't have been a story, would there.
Project Sweet Life is fun read and great for summer vacation. I think I agree with The Horn Book where it is listed as a middle school book.