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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Vol. 1
Dojyomaru, Fuyuyuki, Sean McCann
Progress: 103/374 pages
Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Jeff Lindsay
Progress: 424/470 minutes
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Mary Downing Hahn
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Avery Flynn
Progress: 40 %
An Offer From a Gentleman
Julia Quinn
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The Twisted Ones
T. Kingfisher
Progress: 385/385 pages
Educated
Tara Westover
Progress: 315/730 minutes
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, Vol. 2
Satoru Yamaguchi, Nami Hidaka
Progress: 24/171 pages
Graphic Medicine Manifesto
MK Czerwiec, Kimberly R. Myers, Scott T. Smith, Michael J. Green, Susan Merrill Squier, Ian Williams
Progress: 26/172 pages
Ao Oni: Mutation
Kenji Kuroda, Karin Suzuragi, Alexander Keller-Nelson
Progress: 30/152 pages

Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike

Scavenger Hunt - Christopher Pike

This book begins with a cryptic scene of a young man running from something, possibly either a demon or a cult. He takes refuge in a church, where he tells the priest his story. Then the book switches over to Carl, a young man living in a nearly dead desert town. His best friend Joe was killed in a freak flood nearly a year ago, and he's basically just been existing since then. The only reason he's at all excited about the scavenger hunt that's about to begin is because Cessy, a sexy newcomer, has asked him to be on her team.

Tracie would have liked to have had Carl on her team, but unfortunately Cessy managed to ask him first. Tracie has had a crush on Carl for a while, but she's shy, and then Joe's death happened, and she and Carl just sort of drifted apart. The scavenger hunt at least gives them one last chance to interact before she leaves for college, although some of their team members make things awkward.

Carl's team consists of Cessy, her brother Davey, and Tom (Carl's brain-injured former football player friend). Tracie's team consists of Paula (Joe's girlfriend, who's been angry since his death), and Rick (Paula's genius younger brother, who's in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy). Both teams get off to a strong start, but it isn't long before they become aware that there's something odd about this scavenger hunt.

This is technically another one of my nostalgia reads, but only insofar as it's another book by Christopher Pike. I honestly don't think I read this when I was a teen. I'm pretty sure I would have remembered at least some of the stuff at the end.

I figured out one of the book's twists only 40 or so pages in. I thought I had the rest of it figured out by the halfway point, but, as usual, Pike just kept on making things weirder. I can't even say it was the good kind of weird. It was like Pike pulled a few nouns out of a hat and crammed them into one big plot twist.

Lizards, gold mining, acid (the burning kind, not the drug kind), and dead people.

(show spoiler)


I hated how things turned out with

Rick - it felt like a form of euthanasia, a way for Pike to avoid having to deal with Rick's medical prognosis and the horrors of the American medical insurance system.

(show spoiler)

And the scene with the dog was awful, even though it happened off-page.

All in all, this definitely wasn't Pike's best work. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that I did read this when I was a teen, but just forgot about it.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)