Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: The Quest for Juice by Jonathan-David Jackson

The Quest for Juice (Paranoia #1)The Quest for Juice by Jonathan-David Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quirky, dark and funny.

Oscar Wells suspects 'they' are up to no good in his town. All of his extensive research, documented meticulously on a wall in his house, points towards a dark conspiracy. First, it's little things, like his key not quite fitting and having to jiggle it to open his door. But when his favorite Sunshine Juice is replaced by Sunlight OJ, "now with 50% more real orange pulp," they've gone too far. From there Oscar spirals into a paranoid breakdown that lands him first in jail and later in a mental ward, and then it gets really interesting.

Oscar is a mess. The book is told from his perspective and he freely walks you through every connection, suspicion and thought that lead him to his often tenuous conclusions and decidedly odd outlook on life. I found myself laughing aloud many a time.

On the other hand, the unlikely outcome requires quite a leap of faith, even through the eyes of the delusional main character. Entertaining, yes; believable, no. I'm not certain I would read the next one in the series when it comes out, because I'm not sure what's left to tell based on where the story left off.

Overall, The Quest for Juice is an enjoyable read with a ton of humorous, though at times dark, insanity sprinkled in. I highly recommend it to people who like stories where reality and perception clash in interesting ways. This story kept me guessing and second guessing, and I loved that about it.

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What was the last book that surprised you in a good way?  Let me know in the comments.