Rated Reads

Skink: No Surrender

by Carl Hiassen

Rated: Moderate

Richard has lived in a sleepy little beach town in Florida his whole life. It’s been a good life, mostly. His father died in a freak accident a few years before, but Richard and his family  — mother, stepfather, older brothers — get along OK. And then there’s Malley, Richard’s cousin and best friend. They have a ritual of walking along the beach, looking for turtle nests, and it’s something Richard looks forward to. So one night, when Malley doesn’t show up, Richard goes to the police. And when they don’t do enough, Richard decides that he — along with the former governor-turned-eco-terrorist, Skink — needs to go save her.

I really wanted to like this. And if you can get past the premise — 13-year-old Malley runs away with a guy she met in an Internet chat room — then you might just enjoy it. Skink is delightfully odd, and he and Richard go on a pretty amazing adventure. Hiassen doesn’t go as dark as I was afraid he would. But I never could get past that premise. Just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t enough for me to put the book down, but it was enough for me to be unhappy with. 

Not Hiassen’s best.

Rated: Moderate for thematic content. Mild for adult readers.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • Skink: No Surrender
  • by Carl Hiassen
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: