59. Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones
Publication: Candlewick Press (March 8, 2011), ARC, ~360pp / ISBN 0763639834
Genre: YA Fiction, Thriller
Read: June 29-30, 2011
Summary from Amazon:
Boy, did Blink get off on the wrong floor. All he wanted was to steal some breakfast for his empty belly, but instead he stumbled upon a fake kidnapping and a cell phone dropped by an “abducted” CEO, giving Blink a link to his perfect blonde daughter. Now Blink is on the run, but it \’s OK as long as he’s smart enough to stay in the game and keep Captain Panic locked in his hold. Enter a girl named Caution. As in “Caution: Toxic.” As in “Caution: Watch Your Step.” She’s also on the run, from a skeezy drug-dealer boyfriend and from a nightmare in her past that won’t let her go. When she spies Blink at the train station, Caution can see he’s an easy mark. But there’s something about this naive, skinny street punk, whom she only wanted to rob, that tugs at her heart, a heart she thought deserved not to feel. Charged with suspense and intrigue, this taut novel trails two deeply compelling characters as they forge a blackmail scheme that is foolhardy at best, disastrous at worst – along with a fated, tender partnership that will offer them each a rare chance for redemption.
It’s silly to be intimidated by a book, but, well, I was. Tim Wynne-Jones does YA thrillers of the sort that make me nervous to go outside for a while after reading them, and in order to read one of his books I have to sort of trick myself into it. As I’m a coward, the tricking took a while to pull off. Anyway, it happened and I’ve now read it (obviously), and I’m glad I did because reading Blink & Caution was a lot of fun. It’s sort of something like how I make myself get on roller-coasters: it takes a while for me to get up the courage to go on one, but once I’ve been strapped into the seat I enjoy every heart-pounding minute.
Okay, so: Blink & Caution. Not as scary as The Uninvited, luckily, but it was way more emotionally punch-you-in-the-gut, with a good balance of fast-paced thrilling stuff (well, it IS a thriller). The writing style was interesting; Blink’s chapters are in second person POV and Caution’s is in third person. At first I thought that’d annoy me, but actually it just made the characters more distinct from each other, and, surprisingly, more like real people.
I loved the mix of mystery, action, emotion and suspense. I practically tore through the pages to find out what happened next, and I really enjoyed getting to know the protagonists. The ending is a happy one (is that a spoiler?), although it’s not the sort of ending where everything is tied up neatly and fixed to perfection. I will admit to feel somewhat dissatisfied with the last third of the book, which felt disproportionately slow for some reason. Maybe the bad guy’s plot reveal just felt too…obvious? I don’t know. I’m glad the characters turned out okay, but it did feel a bit “meh” after so much excitement/thrills/etc.
I suppose that’s to be expected, though. The end of a really good roller-coaster always feels somewhat disappointing, because the fun is ending. But does that mean that the fun never happened? No. It jut means that I’m sad the ending of a good time had to happen, and that’s what’s going on here.
Blink & Caution was really a lot of fun, and hopefully the next time I read a Tim Wynne-Jones book I’ll remember that and won’t need to trick myself into getting on the roller-coaster.
Really liked it.
Annette’s Book Spot: “Wynne-Jones tells it like it is. These are not romanticized runaways on a fun, light-hearted adventure. Every day is a struggle, but I also found myself caring deeply about these kids. You really want everything to work out for them, but through most of the book it doesn’t seem very likely.”
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf: “One of the most rewarding aspects in this novel was the rich and likable characters Tim had in Caution and Blink. Both are characters that you can’t help but root for, especially when you find out about all the pain and suffering they’ve faced in the past. With that, I liked them even better when they finally found in each other in the story, because with each other, they discover a lot about themselves and each other and gain courage to speak up for themselves.”
Does anyone else get intimidated by a book/author/genre? I can’t be the only one, can I?