Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998)
Montgomery, R. A.
Bolle, Frank (interior)
On the surface, this book looks fairly simple. You're in a motocross race and someone's cheating. Well, not really – there's other, more dangerous kinds of criminal here as well. You're determined to expose them – and also win the race.
But in the end, it turns out that you can't ever do both, and that really takes the air out of this book. The writing, believe it or not, is actually better than usual (and so are the illustrations). But the plot? Not quite.
At least this time around the problem with this book wasn't the weirdness – in truth, there's not much of that at all. It's more that the reader feels left out of what's going on. You're stuck on the sidelines in all of the crime-related threads and can't do any real detective work. And then there's the other silly thread where you get bullied and try to do something about it, but never end up doing anything at all. This book also has lots of page flipping for no reason – to get to the first choice, you need to read eight pages.
Some of the endings are a real letdown. One is "you give up the race and decide go to home. Then on the road, some guy chases you with his car and eventually shoots you. You die learning nothing. THE END." Another where you get kidnapped is – quite literally – "Oh great, you think. I don't know where I'm being taken, who's taking me, or why. THE END." I especially hated the one where you get told what's going on with the criminals but then get blown up in a suicide bombing – talk about a copout!
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