Friday, September 12, 2014

Felix the Comet, by Cathy Coley

Felix is a first class geek with two geek parents (they are both teachers at a local college), but Felix can't help the fact that he's smart and knows stuff.  Thankfully, at his school, it's never been a problem.  He's been free to pretty much be himself.  Kids just know that's how he is. 

But when a new boy transfers in, trouble begins.  The kid takes an instant dislike to Felix and goes out of his way to tease and torment Felix.  The book's title however comes from a side plot: Felix and his dog Cosmo discover a comet.  This makes Felix instantly famous and all that attention further infuriates the bully.  Felix tries to cool things down by maintaining a low profile, but it does no good.  Felix's friends, meanwhile, try to convince Felix to tell an adult.  Felix, however, wants to figure out a solution on his own (and he's no tattle-tale!).  But, as the situation escalates, Felix discovers that he may be in over his head!

Coley is great with details, portraying in loving detail the dynamics of Felix's friendships and family life.  The parents, in particular, are well-rounded and authentic.  Dialogue is less of a strong suit and I found the kid's voices stiff and not as true.  That said, the story (and Felix's motivation to avoid making trouble in particular) made sense and build a satisfying dramatic arc.  I would have liked to have seen more development of his nemesis (we get a small bit of that in the end when Felix observes that the bully's family may be the source of his anger, but it is an underdeveloped idea and a lost opportunity.

[Disclaimer:  I'm friends with the author and she bravely asked me to review her book (even sending me a copy for the review).]

1 comment:

cath c said...

Thank you so much, Paul, I really appreciate the honest assessment. There may be more on Spangler to come. :)