Sunday, January 2, 2011
The Samantha Granger Experiment: Fused by Kari Lee Townsend
Samantha Granger is having a hard time. She's been moved from home, her parents are separated, and her favorite person, Gram, her dad's mom is thousands of miles away. She has made friends at school and has a crush on the cute guy on the football team who just happens to have the locker next to her. But just as he's starting to show interest, she becomes a "freak." She was walking home from her friends house and gets lost in the woods. She sees something fall in the woods. She discovers a meteorite and touches it while holding her cell phone and voila she's thrown back 20 feet and loses her phone.
She walks home, not lost anymore but able to get straight home without any help. And other weird things happen to her and suddenly her whole life changes. She is fused with her cell phone. And she doesn't realize it until the next morning when her phone, which she'd left on vibrate, begins to vibrate on her hand. She realizes what happened, and does the only thing she can do, uses her mother's 80's fingerless gloves to cover her hand.
A myriad of things happen to her as she discovers the many things her Electro Craze phone can actually do. Most phones can't predict exactly where the soccer ball is going to go while Sam plays goalie. And most phones can't tell the major cities of South Africa and their population. And then the popular girl starts spreading rumors that Sam's father was fired from the company both he and her mother worked for the company that designed the Electro Craze, for doing something illegal. And because of the meteorite, the town is crawling with scientist and men in dark sunglasses. Something Sam doesn't need. And all of a sudden, Grams is at the door, come to Sam's rescue, sort of and her father is in town.
Now, Sam needs to find out how to become unfused, stay away from the scientists, and somehow keep her hormones from overloading every time Trevor tries to kiss her, because her circuits overload and her body is taken over by the Electro Craze. It marches her away to take over a 911 call. But that isn't her worst problem. And things only get worse as the story goes on.
The story is a combination of middle school problems, technological superhero problems, boy problems and all the usual middle school craziness. There is the typical bitch who rules the school, but Sam has good friends. The football jock, who isn't dense or wrapped around anyone's finger. Sam and her best friend Mel play soccer, no shrinking violets. Samantha doesn't hide her head and say woe is me. She's a strong girl and goes after solving her problem head long. I like her character. The book is told from her POV and she's funny and with the phone capabilities downloaded into her, really smart! It's a step up as far as age group from Karma Bites, but it's clean and fast and really fun to read. It's a great debut book. I read it in a few hours and was laughing at several parts. Especially her superhero costume and her superhero names which she constantly changes because people keep messing it up.
I definitely recommend this for young readers 9 and up. Reluctant readers will definitely enjoy this. It's got a hint of romance, totally clean, and suspense and mystery with middle school craziness thrown in. It's the story of Samantha the Superhero trying to live a normal life as an 8th grader. We'll be seeing her again in the next installment of The Samantha Granger Experiment: Fused.
Heather in Sandwich