Author: Julie Bourbeau
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: August 14, 2012
I was pulled in because the premise of the book sounded interesting, and I liked the illustration on the cover. Who doesn't love quirky little towns? But when I found out that the "wednesdays" were actually monsters, I felt a little disappointed. I probably should have seen this coming, as the description alludes to it and the cover does as well. I guess it's a case of nothing is scarier. The plot was a little predictable and simplistic to me, and I was able to accurately guess plot developments. As for the characters, I liked Max. He was complex and showed bravery and apprehension at the same time. I did like the supporting characters as well; his parents being afraid of him, but at the same time caring about his well being; his relationship with his baby brother; his friends Noah and Gemma, who help him carry out his final plan; Mr. Grimsrud and Thursday helping at the very end; and finally, the mystical doctor that was both intelligent and bumbling.
While I did like the characters, I felt like the world wasn't explained enough. Who are the Wednesdays, why did they become Wednesdays, why are the older ones so evil? Why do they cause mischief? Why did they choose Max? What happened to One? I get that they are supposed to be somewhat mysterious, but I wanted to know a little more about the village and the Wednesdays.
Maybe it's just me, but I read the book as a metaphor for puberty. Max's body and feelings are changing, and it's a completely negative experience. He's frustrated by his family and people at school and imagines bad things happening to them. Because he has caught a case of the "wednesdays," bad things do happen. This reminded me of how teenagers have been accused of causing poltergeist activity. His body is also changing and his clothes no longer fit. He wants to go back to the way things are before, and he has to struggle against this transformation that is happening to him. Maybe this was an odd reading of the book, but that's instantly what I thought when he started outgrowing his clothes. Surely I'm not the only one that felt this way!
I would rate this 3ish stars. I didn't hate it, but I didn't fall in love with the book either. It was ok.