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Lolly alla riscossa (Italian)
As I read this book, I soon noticed three things about Brand-New Blossom that differ from most other interactive stories. While other gamebooks feature text that occasionally loops back on itself, creating interconnected pathways that allow for extended narratives without the need for additional pages, this technique is used surprisingly often in Brand-New Blossom, so the book has significantly less content than its sixty-four pages would indicate. Another curious aspect of this story is its single End, unlike most other gamebook series; entries in the Choose Your Own Adventure series, for example, sometimes run upwards of forty Ends. It is true, however, that the Earth Inspectors books each have only one End, so it isn't a phenomenon unique to the Powerpuff Girls Plus You Club series. Perhaps the most unusual trait of Brand-New Blossom, though, is its third-person past-tense narration, the first time I've ever seen that in a gamebook. All this makes for a quirky reading experience for those familiar with the traditional gamebook style, yet it doesn't lessen the fun this book has to offer, and there is plenty of that.
When a confrontation with Mojo Jojo at a local jewelry store he has just robbed turns sour for Blossom and her sisters after Blossom refuses to let them apprehend Mojo Jojo without clear evidence he is the culprit, Blossom starts to become jaded about her own ever-present honest attitude. What good is being honest and fair even to criminals if it allows them to get away with their misdeeds? Blossom begins to believe she has been too easy to manipulate for Mojo Jojo and the other bad guys in Townsville. They know Blossom won't let Bubbles and Buttercup beat them into submission unless they can positively be linked to a crime, and Mojo Jojo is now using this to his advantage. Pulling a total personality reversal in response, Blossom goes out on the town looking for ways to show her new rebel spirit, determined the bad guy isn't going to get away next time as long as she's around to stop him. With this brand-new Blossom roaming Townsville, who knows what trouble could ensue?
Blossom is a powerful girl, a bona fide superhero, trusted to a fault by the entire community, so there's practically no limit to the mischief she can get into if she sets her mind on it. What form will her new misbehavior take at the Pokey Oaks school, or the arcade? What trouble will Blossom get into at the mall, or the candy store, or the city park, all of which are prime locations for Mojo Jojo or any of Townsville's other regular criminal offenders to show up and commence causing mayhem? Perhaps it wasn't Blossom's unbending respect for the rules that ever really caused problems, but rather the willingness of miscreants like Mojo Jojo to take advantage of that respect. The Powerpuff Girls always win out in the end, though, and Blossom may come to see she doesn't have to try to be someone else in order to be an effective crime fighter in the city of Townsville. She can be her own law-abiding, justice-serving self all the way and still ultimately get the bad guy, whether it be Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkin, the Amoeba Boys or any of the other criminals who operate in Townsville. I wonder what would have happened, though, had Him been in this book. Or the Rowdyruff Boys...
Paul Siefken has written an amusing book in Brand-New Blossom; in fact, a couple of the mayor's lines were funny enough to elicit out-loud laughter from me, just as they frequently did in the original Cartoon Network animated television program. This is definitely a book series I'd read more of anytime, and I hope the Powerpuff Girls Plus You Club stories continue to find their way into the hands of young readers through local libraries, even if they're not in active publication.
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