Title: The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality #1)
Author: James Dashner
Release Date: March 3rd, 2008
Publisher: Shadown Mountain
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
What if every choice you made created an alternate reality?
In The Journal of Curious Letters, Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day he receives a strange letter informing him that dangerous— perhaps even deadly—events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. Tick will be sent twelve riddles that, when solved, will reveal the time and place of an extraordinary happening.
Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues and discover the life he was meant to live?
I really liked the premise of this book – the idea of alternate realities is truly fascinating. However, quite a few aspects of the story just didn’t click with me.
First and foremost, I found the writing style to be quite juvenile. For a book about intelligent people, I felt that this could have and should have been avoided. Now, I understand that this is supposedly geared towards the younger end of the young adult genre, so I’m not the intended audience, but I do feel that Dashner could have gained some older readers if the book didn’t feel like it was for the 9-12 market.
I found the character of Sofia, another thirteen-year-old who has been receiving the letters, to be rather infuriating. She was portrayed as a tough yet endearing young girl, but she just came of as mean and annoying. Throughout the book, she was constantly claiming to be of superior intelligence to everyone else, as well as holding her social status above the others. Like I said, she was annoying.
The overall story was interesting enough that I wasn’t bored while reading it. It didn’t thrill me, or keep me on the edge of my seat, but it was good. I guess I was expecting something stylistically similar to Dashner’s Maze Runner series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Anyone around the ages of 10-14 (give or take a couple of years) will probably be more likely to enjoy this series.
I wish I’d found out about this series four or five years ago, when I probably would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. It has the action and adventure that younger readers would definitely love, and a great father-son relationship that a lot of kids would be moved by.
For me though, I probably won’t continue reading this series, as it just doesn’t resonate with me.