Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet

Title: This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh
 Spurcebooks Jabberwocky
Publishing Date: April 2nd 2013
Pages: 320
Genre:  MG Coming of Age 
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover


If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.

But it's not.

It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I'm home-schooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends – old or new. The best I've got is this notebook. I'm supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here's what I'm really going to use it for:

Ratchet's Top Secret Plan

Project Goal: turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.

This year, I'm going make something change.....

A debut middle grade novel about a girl named Ratchet and her quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. Ratchet tells her story through the assignments in her home-school journal.

This book caught my eye in Barnes and Noble. Having never heard of the book, I picked it up and instantly knew I wanted to read it. So I bought it. I was so excited to get home and read this book, I pushed aside the other million books I have been reading and dove in. I was hooked from the first page and devoured the book. It is full of comedy, cuteness, and coming of age goodness. It was right in the middle of light read and realistic issues. I loved the characters, the relationships, and the journal entries.

Ratchet is just starting her teenage years. She is home-schooled by her hippie mechanic father who she helps fix cars in between her studies. Her mother died when she was young, she has no friends, and she gets everything second hand. She wants a new life. She wants a new look, friends, and to know more about her mother. None of these things she sets out to accomplish are easy. She only has money to buy from Goodwill,  all the kids in town think she and her dad are nuts, and her father keeps everything about her mother a secret. 

One of her assignments for school, is to keep a journal, in this journal she has a multiple of different writing assignments from free writing to poetry. In this journal she makes a plan... Get a new look, find a friend, and find the box of secrets of her mom. 

I absolutely adore this book. It was non stop fun. First off the book is written in very interesting journal entries. Free writing, plays, poetry, interviews, memos.. and so on. Every entry tells the story of Ratchet. I found the tone to be fun but filled with the undertone of a lost girl who has a lot to discover about herself. There were moments I got teary eyed, but for the most part it was full of laughs for me. 

I really loved Ratchets story. I couldn't help but feel for her. She was very lonely. Her father is always in the garage working on cars, barely even looks over her assignments, and he doesn't understand Ratchet at all. She really wishes she had a mom, but since she doesn't she just wants to know about her. Ratchet was also missing friends. Her story was a bit of a sad one, but there were also many great things in her life that she missed out because she couldn't see past the bad stuff. It was a great journey watching Ratchet grow. 

I think Ratchet is the best part of this story. I had no problem connecting to her at all. From the beginning I loved her. She was written well and her character was full of emotions, easily seen through her journal entries. She was smart and sneaky, misunderstood, and loyal. She was a wonderful character. 

There was a handful of wonderful characters in the book and a handful of not so great characters, villains in a sense. There was a clear line between those that were full of goodness and those out for no good. I loved that the great characters won out in the end. 

The story really is heartwarming, a very quick read, and just so much fun. If you like cute, heart tugging, coming of age books.. you will eat this one up. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed reading RATCHET! Nancy J. Cavanaugh


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