Monday, December 5, 2011

Treasure Island!!! Sara Levine

Author:  Sara Levine
Publication Year: 2011 
Publisher: Europa / Tonga Books
Edition: review copy
Source: publisher
Setting: Unnamed US city
Date Completed: 11/29/2011 
Rating: 3.5/5
Recommend: depends on the reader

Treasure Island!!! is the story of an unnamed 25 year-old protagonist who is stuck in a rut. She's a young woman looking for some adventure in her life.  Thus far, this college graduate, philosophy major, has held several mindless and low paying jobs from "gift-wrap associate" in a department store to part-time clerk at the "pet library" (she calls herself, "Circulation Clerk"), a job which is short-lived and after her unauthorized purchase of a parrot named Richard for the Pet Library.  A bird when after being let go, she is stuck with, and a bird she quickly loses interest in.  Her boyfriend, Lars isn't particularly exciting either, but without a job she gives up her apartment to move in with him -- this too is short-lived. She is determined to change her life for the better, and maybe his as well.

One day her sister, Adrianna, a 3rd grade teacher, leaves the library book, Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson at her apartment.  The last time our protagonist read that book was when she was 9 years-old. She reads the book again, after all she doesn't have anything more interesting to do, and suddenly, it hits her -- she too needs to become adventuresome, like the book's hero, Jim Hawkins. She's determined to begin living her life by the core values of the original book Treasure Island: Boldness, Resolution, Independence and Horn-Blowing.

Unfortunately, her attempts to change her life by being more bold and adventurous, go from bad to worst, because one thing the protagonist lacks is introspection and self-awareness.  What follows is a series of interactions and incidents, some are quite amusing, others terribly embarrassing for those involved, but yet she never sees the effects that her actions and boldness are having on others.

While I generally enjoy stories with quirky characters, especially ones who just can't seem to get out of their own way, this lady quickly began to get on my nerves. Yes, some of the things that happened when the heroine (if you could call her that) tried to change her life,  were quite funny, although a little of her nonsense went a long way.  Although this debut novel was under 200 pages, I grew somewhat tired of her antics and the chaos she caused when she tried to get involved in everyone's business.  I'm glad I read this book, but am guessing that the reviews might be mixed on this one.


  1. I think this is the one Europa book I have. :/

  2. I wonder why they chose to name the book Treasure Island. I thought your were reviewing 'treasure island'... with pirates!

  3. Interesting review! I think I would probably react the way you did!

  4. I think this one sounds sort of funny, but I am wondering if I would be annoyed by the main character like you were, or if I would find her interesting. I think this is a book that is worth checking out and seeing what I think. Very nice review today!

  5. As I have too much introspection and self-awareness, I would probably enjoy this character. It sounds like a fun read too.

  6. Sorry to hear it wasn't as great as it sounded. I'm a sucker for a title with an exclamation point in it!

  7. Just reading that you quickly tired of the antics assures me that I would feel much the same way. Loved your honest thoughts of this one.

  8. Oh darn - the premise of the book had such great potential. As I was reading your review I was imagining all kinds of possibilities I am afraid that I would rather read of a character who has good introspection and can make the best of her new found adventurous life.

    GREAT review though!

  9. I can't decide whether to pass on this one or not.


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