Reviews for If You're Reading This, It's Too Late

Booklist Reviews 2008 September #2
The adventures of aspiring magician Max-Ernest and survivalist-in-training Cass continue. As with The Name of This Book Is Secret (2007), the author often intrudes on the story to offer dire warnings to the reader that even reading this tale is too dangerous to consider, presumably because of a world-shatteringly nefarious secret and the evil machinations of the two young adventurers' archnemeses, Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. It's a clever ploy that adds a level of heightened drama to the tale, which, underneath all the trappings, has some neat elements (a Sound Prism, a cantankerous homunculus) but lacks many true thrills. There are still codes for Max-Ernest and Cass to unravel and secret societies to infiltrate, but the injection of a third main cast member reeks of the old sitcom ploy of throwing in a hip new character in an attempt to make a show fresh. Chapter-opening illustrations add a lighthearted touch to this solid sequel, which is more character-driven than the first, and will hit or miss depending on what readers like more, the people or the puzzles. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
In this sequel to [cf2]The Name of This Book Is Secret[cf1], tenacious Cass and Max-Ernest, working for the secret Terces Society, are searching for the homunculus, a five-hundred-year-old man in a bottle. Embedded in the often humorous text are interactive codes and puzzles. Fans of mystery and adventure will find this playful story, its villains, and its well-paced plot engaging. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 October

Gr 4-6-- This stand-alone sequel to The Name of This Book Is Secret (Little, Brown, 2007) combines mystery, adventure, and fantasy. On their mission for the Terces Society, 11-year-old Cass and Max-Ernest must find the homunculus, a 500-year-old man born in a bottle, before Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais do. The evil duo plans to use him to uncover the secret of immortality. The use of an overbearing narrator to create a sense of danger works in the beginning, but grows tiresome toward the end. The numerous parenthetical comments and footnotes are often laugh-out-loud funny, but also draw readers out of the action. Bosch creates sufficiently quirky, well-rounded protagonists, while stereotypes suffice for the secondary characters, with the exception of the homunculus. Cynical humor shines through in the portrayal of the Skelton Sisters, an evil tween pop group in the employ of Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. The dark illustrations, descending chapter numbers, and playful fonts will catch readers' attention. Fans of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins) will enjoy this slightly more fleshed-out read.--Kim Ventrella, Ralph Ellison Library, Oklahoma City, OK

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