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Library Journal: "This highly original, farcical novel will keep you entertained."

Date: Nov 15 2011

Levine, Sara. Treasure Island!!! Europa, dist. by Penguin. Jan. 2012. c.176p. ISBN 9781609450618. pap. $15. F

Boldness. Resolution. Independence. Horn blowing. These are the key qualities attributed to Jim Hawkins, protagonist of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, by the hapless, unnamed, 25-year-old female narrator of this debut novel by Levine. The underemployed slacker becomes ludicrously obsessed with Treasure Island, seeing in the novel a model of behavior that will permit her to throw off the shackles of her banal existence, starting with her part-time job in an animal-lending “pet library.” Her first act is to steal cash from her employer to purchase a parrot that will sit on her shoulder spouting appropriate words of encouragement, Treasure Island–style, but that soon becomes her nemesis when it requires care and proves difficult to train. Our empathy-impaired narrator confuses irresponsibility with bravery and selfishness with self-­sufficiency, and this results in a hilarious sequence of minor catastrophes befalling her friends and family, a circle of comically inept enablers. VERDICT Though it is hard to conceive of, let alone root for, such a morally bankrupt and emotionally stunted character, this highly original, farcical novel will keep you entertained in spite of (or more accurately, because of) its toxic narrator. [See Prepub Alert, 9/12/11.]—Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

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