The Anti-Book by Raphael Simon

Hi Everyone! It’s Becky. I just finished listening to the audiobook of The Anti-Book by Raphael Simon. The book had a great message, but I’m not sure about the intended audience.

Title: The Anti-Book
Author: Raphael Simon
Note: I listened to the audiobook.

Summary: Mickey is mad at his family, his life, the world. Mickey gets a notebook that allows him to erase anything he writes in it. Mickey erases the world, but he is left with an alternative reality that he must learn to return home.

Review: It’s been a few days since I read The Anti-Book, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Raphael Simon wrote a book about an angry kid and what could happen if that anger boiled over a mixed with a little magic. I’m sure that young readers can relate to Mickey’s anger however I’m not sure if they will relate to how Mickey deals with his anger.

The Anti-Book is Mickey’s story. His parents are getting divorced, his sister has emotionally abandoned him for her cook boyfriend, and he doesn’t have many friends. Mickey wishes for everyone and everything to disappear, and when they do, he is in an alternative world. The premise of the book sounds great, but I was never won over by Mickey’s new reality. Simon created a world that would fit into a Lewis Carroll story, but I never felt the magic. Also, Mickey’s emotional reconkoning felt a little rushed. He went from angry kid to understand preteen a little too quick to be believable.    

Yet, I think some readers will see themself in Mickey’s journey. Mickey is dealing with his parents breaking up and their impending remarriages. This topic has become more common but is no less upsetting to young readers. Also, Simon carefully integrated Mickey’s questioning of his sexuality. Mickey is questioning things and trying to understand himself better, which is an experience that may be familiar for some readers.  

The Anti-Book will speak to them, and they will find comfort in Mickey’s stories, but other readers may not enjoy Mickey’s adventure.

Review: 3 out of 5 

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