25. I Lost My Mobile At the Mall by Wendy Harmer
Publication: Kane/Miller Book Publishers (March 2011), Hardcover, 265pp / ISBN 1935279971
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Borrow it
Read: February 27, 2011
Summary from Amazon:
I lost my mobile at the mall and am now facing certain death. My mother will accuse me of being lazy, ungrateful and plain old stupid. The first death I suffer will be from an utter lack of natural justice. My father will sentence me to die by disappointment. His shoulders will sag and there will be a long escape of air from his chest, as if I’ve crept up behind him and pulled out his plug. As if I deliberately lost my mobile phone to prove to him that there is no God. My best friend will kill me, all because there’s a photo in my mobile of her standing next to Hugh Jackman. I am not an overly dramatic person, but a year’s worth of numbers, texts and photos were in my phone, and if I don’t get them back my life is not worth living.
This is a cute little book! It’s basically about what happens when a teenage isn’t able to constantly check Facebook or text her friends, and guess what? It isn’t that big of a deal. The world doesn’t end, the teen doesn’t lose all social contact, and, in fact, some really good things happen that probably wouldn’t have if Elly had still been glued to the internet all day. Some things– like homework– are harder to do without technology, but it’s not horrible.
Anyway, I Lost My Mobile At the Mall isn’t actually about life without technology. It’s more about Elly and her family and friends, the relationship between them and how they all navigate the murky waters of Teenage Drama. The technology aspect just adds a new edge to those relationships! Elly and her family are really cute– especially her grandmother– and they’re so normal, and in a normal world, it was a nice change from all the fantasy/sci-fi I’ve been reading lately.
The only downside is that, while I enjoyed the story and liked the different aspects (like family, technology, friendship, etc), it didn’t have pizazz. I hate saying that because I can’t quantify what pizazz is, exactly (beyond the definition), or how a book can get hold of it, but nevertheless I think it needs more sparkiness. Think of Louis Rennison’s books. They’re also about normal people doing normal things, with an edge of all-out wackiness, and they have pizazz. I don’t think I Lost My Mobile At the Mall needs to be hilariously wacky, but it needs more of the thing that books like Louis Rennison and some other YA authors have. You know?
So, anyway. I enjoyed I Lost My Mobile At the Mall and thought it was really cute, and I liked the inclusion of how over-dependence on technology robs you of some of the fun things of life, but it needs a bit more spark to really be amazing.
Also, you can read the first chapter at the official website!