The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal | Book Review
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Three friends Rex, Leif, and Alicia have spent their Summer filming PolterDog. They aspire to enter it into the Durham Film Festival and earn recognition for their masterpiece. But as they film one of their last scenes, a horrible accident leaves Wayne Whitewood badly burned. While the boys are grounded and their filmmaking rights are taken away, Alicia is sent to the Whitewood reform school. A school where no one is allowed entry except those who work at and attend it. And the children that leave it, are forever changed. Rex and Leif refuse to leave Alicia to be reformed and begin to hatch plans to break her out. They will soon find that the Whitewood school has a heinous past.
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek started strong. The three friends are introduced as hatching wild ideas and following along with their childhood dreams. Listening to Rex and Leif banter back and forth was comical and reminiscent of the 90s. Living in a small town that doesn’t have much to offer, the friends found plenty to keep themselves busy. Any action that was too risky in the eyes of the town was frowned on, and some religious overtones were overdramatized for comedy.
But it began to fall apart when Janine was introduced. Her backstory was not necessary to the plot. It could have been summarized well enough to trigger her appearance in Bleak Creek. Her family dynamics did add to the humor and suspense of the Whitewood mystery. But at the same time, her original reasons for filming the town were not as humorous as I believe they were supposed to be.
The theme of friendship and clever one-liners from Rex and Leif kept me engaged despite the plot feeling disjointed at times. It was almost as if different writing styles were competing against one another. I also contribute finishing the book to the audio narrator, Vikas Adam. He did a fantastic job with different voices and bringing the characters to life.
If you’re into humor books, give this a try. And if you are a fan of Rhett and Link from YouTube, you can certainly see where some of the inspiration came from. But I think I will stick to watching their videos.
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