Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: The Borrower

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lucy Hull is a Children’s Librarian. Ian Drake is a very precocious 10 year old, and Lucy’s favorite patron. Ian’s mother is a very strict, conservative, Christian who puts a lot of limits on what Ian can and cannot read (no Harry Potter, occult, witchcraft, wizards, homosexuality, fantasy, etc.). One day, quite by accident, Lucy discovers that Ian’s parents are sending him to a weekly “camp” with a minister who is “famous” for his seminars and classes to change people from homo- to heterosexual. When Lucy inadvertently kidnaps Ian, or is it that Ian Librarian-naps Lucy, they are in for an epic road trip from Missouri to Vermont with lots of interesting stops and characters along the way.

This book had me laughing, uproariously, at times. Probably because I am a librarian as well. For example, Lucy and her co-worker, Rocky, go out for coffee frequently and turn just about everything into a Dr. Suess book with hysterical results. Also Lucy makes some great lists that are usually a spoof of a children’s book. Case in point, “If you give a Librarian a Closet”.

I loved the dynamics of Lucy and Ian’s friendship. Ian’s unwitting sarcasm and aptitude at lying to keep he and Lucy out of trouble was great.

Ian reminds Lucy of a friend she had growing up and she feels the need to protect him. Ian loves that Lucy will conspire with him to check out whatever books he wants. They care deeply for one another, unconditionally. This built on their shared love of books and reading and Lucy would do just about anything to get Ian away from his folks and Pastor Bob. I also loved how Makkai interweaves the storylines of famous children’s books throughout. It was a fun, fast read.

Parts of the story did drag a bit, especially when Lucy’s boyfriend was on the scene…but he provided necessary tension. But that would be my only complaint.

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