Book Reviews

Book Review: Restart by Gordon Korman

Chase’s memory just went out the window.

Chase doesn’t remember falling off the roof. He doesn’t remember hitting his head. He doesn’t, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name.

He knows he’s Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return.

Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him.

One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets.

Pretty soon, it’s not only a question of who Chase is–it’s a question of who he was . . . and who he’s going to be.

My Thoughts

Perfect. Seriously, I have never read a perfect book, until now.

Since studying how to write and mores specifically how to write for kids, and how to edit and edit for a younger audience, I no longer read for pure enjoyment, but find that I automatically edit as I read. Little things, big things, I make mental note of changes and fixes that I would have done if I were the editor or writer. This is not something unique to me, I’ve had discussions with many writer friends who all agree this happens to them too, we can’t help it. 

But Restart, I loved. I had zero “heads-up moments.” Nothing niggled at me. So, although there is no such thing as a *perfect* book, I was able to submerse myself into this story wholeheartedly and was never yanked out. You. Must. Read. This. Book.

I read it as our recent read-out-loud story for my boys. They too, loved it. It was easy to read, flowed, engaged, and each chapter left us wanting the next one. 

The characters were well developed, the writing – obviously, you get it by now – was fantastic! I can’t even find the right words to get across how excited I am about this book. I’ve read Gordon Korman in the past, I know he’s a great author… but I’m actually making a point to buy more of his books next time at the bookstore, and  making an additional point to get to a bookstore asap!

Told from several points of view, each character has an individual voice. Korman uses limited dialogue tags and can because the voices are so unique it’s easy to tell who’s talking – a sign of a really awesome writer! The story keeps you on the edge of your seat, all you want to know is how is Chase going to turn out in the end. Is he changed? Will his past take over? And the ending is SO SATISFYING! Do I dare say again… it’s perfect. 

I kinda wish I’d read this with my YA Book Club, because there’s so much we could talk about for takeaways and examples to apply to our own writing. I’ll be recommending it to all the members. I learned a ton reading this book, mostly about creating engaging, individual, unique, amazing characters.

It goes without saying – I HIGHLY recommend reading this book! And I think it crosses both thresholds of middle grade and young adult. 

This is an unsolicited review, I purchased this book from a local book store.

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 27 2018)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1338053807

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