*I received Just Deserts by Eric Walters as a submission for the YABA
I thought Walters did a fabulous job of capturing the reader’s attention in the first few chapters. He expertly portrayed the drunken, hung over, and self-centered teenage mind of a rich but neglected boy. Being dropped in the desert, and left to fend for yourself is a creative, although perhaps over-dramatic punishment for being kicked out of yet another boarding school. There was some good action and adventure, although not as much as I anticipated given the promising first few chapters.
The novel was a bit too didactic for my taste, with a few cheesy after-school special moments. These were made tolerable by the self-awareness of it, with the characters joking that they sounded like bumper stickers. I did like the references to history and philosophy. Ethan develops a relationship with an orange that is reminiscent of Tom Hanks and Wilson the volleyball in the film Castaway. There were the odd laugh out loud moments.
I think this book will appeal more to athletic teenage boys than it did to me. Not that I did not enjoy it, I finished it in one day (two sittings) and think it was well done. I’m actually going to recommend it to my father because he loves to run and there is a lot in this book about running.