Friday, May 30, 2014

Novel Review: The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Genre: YA/MG Contemporary
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
Release Date: September, 2013
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A is for "Tink Aaron-Martin," "Aardvark," and "Amazing" in this wonderful alphabetical novel!

Tink Aaron-Martin has been grounded AGAIN after an adventure with her best friend Freddie Blue Anderson. To make the time pass, she decides to write an encyclopedia of her life from "Aa" (a kind of lava--okay, she cribbed that from the real encyclopedia) to "Zoo" (she's never been to one, but her brothers belong there).

As the alphabet unfolds, so does the story of Tink's summer: more adventures with Freddie Blue (and more experiences in being grounded); how her family was featured in a magazine about "Living with Autism," thanks to her older brother Seb--and what happened after Seb fell apart; her growing friendship, and maybe more, with Kai, a skateboarder who made her swoon (sort of). And her own sense that maybe she belongs not under "H" for "Hideous," or "I" for "Invisible," but "O" for "Okay."

Written entirely in Tink's hilarious encyclopedia entries, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ME is both a witty trick and a reading treat for anyone who loves terrific middle-grade novels.

The Cover:

I find the cover of this book to be very adorable. I love how the girl is standing on a pile of books, with the title on them, up on her tiptoes to reach the boy. The colors are light and fun, working very well with the book. I think it's a very adorable, fitting book, even if the romance doesn't play too big a part on the book itself.


  • "People are all different: People with autism are all different, and so are people without it. So, seriously, what is the big deal about that?” (ARC, pg. 25)
  • "Kissing The act of pressing your mouth on someone else’s and squishing it around in a way that is a lot better than it sounds. I have nothing to say about kissing that I haven’t already told you. You are obsessed with kissing! It’s none of my business, but you might have a problem.” (Pg. 122)
  • "Sarcasm is irony with a twist and a shove.” (Pg. 180)


When I picked this up, I thought it was going to be a short, cute young adult novel. Instead, it’s a middle grade novel, and that changed a lot of things.
I will say that I love the premise of the book. Telling a story by the alphabet, like in an encyclopedia, is a great idea. And the cover is adorable, so that helps. The set-up, and even some of the book, was rather cute. Very light hearted. And there was some development, which I liked. I really liked Tink’s family, and their progress.
But the characters were much more immature than I thought they would be. Although, if I was younger, I definitely would have liked that a lot more. But I’m over the whole, making new words, talking in text speak, having crushes on boys and liking the popular girls and then moving on from one thing to another in days. None of that really works for me anymore. I didn’t really relate to the character, either, probably because she isn’t quite like I was when I was that age. Although, I still think I would have liked it more had I read this while in middle school. Particularly the writing, which is immature, with all capped words and exclamation points and text speak and made up words. I just don’t care for that too much anymore.
I did find some of this book cute--I did like how Tink matured by the end, and I did like her family, and even some of her thoughts on things, especially the view on autism. It was a bit cute, and very fast. But overall it just isn’t really my type of book.

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