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eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
File size4.2 Mb
Release date 01.04.2002
Pages count272
Book rating4.61 (876 votes)
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Ahhhh. Where do I even begin with this book/series.

I was first introduced to Denise Swanson, Scumble River, and her character Skye Denison about 10 years ago when I was in grad school to become a school psychologist. At that time, we flew through these books and it was a charming little joke for our small class (there were only about 8 of us in our grad school class). Besides that, we were attending school in small-town Illinois, right about where the stories were taking place. It was all fun, at that point.

Cut back to today, when I had been looking for something fun and easy to read while regaling Ryan with stories of how much fun we had reading these mysteries when I was in school. So I picked one up cheap for my Kindle... and was in for somewhat of a disappointment.

There are SO MANY complications in this book that really took me out of the story in so many ways:
Now that I've been a psychologist for 9 years, Skye's job doesn't seem all that realistic (apart from being shuffled between schools and never having an office-that part is all too real). However, I am willing to accept that legal standards have changed and practice can look different in small-town schools rather than urban districts. However, she solely does individual counseling with elementary school students? Which makes no sense to me at all.

Besides that, Skye doesn't seem to be very good at her job. Let's not forget that she was FIRED from her previous job, although we don't quite know why. However, she routinely leaves the school building in the middle of the day, neglects to do federally mandated work, and makes wildly inappropriate and wrong guesses about the motivations, thoughts, and backgrounds of students. Many of the things that she said to students made me cringe.

Worst of all, Skye has NO IDEA how bad she really is. Throughout the whole book she is blissfully unaware of how she is annoying others, getting in the way and hurting other people's feelings. And when they let her know, she gets mad at them! (She was really unlikable in this book, if you couldn't tell)

Also, the book says that Skye is 31 when all this happens. However, Swanson does not seem to know what a 31 year old really does. Because Skye is either acting like an 18 year old giggling with her friends, or wearing very snazzy polyester pants suits. This is one thing that I thought was more realistic when I was reading the books at 23 but now that I'm 33 I realize that I would never do that.

There are a lot of contradictions in this book as well. For example Skye is dating a teacher at her school, but doesn't really like him. Yet, when she finds out he has wronged her she decides to get revenge on him (by cooking him dinner of foods he doesn't like) because apparently now she cares? Her life also seems to revolve around her relationships with men - but then she only seems interested in them once they are interested in her? Or, I don't know. I was confused because she would go from loathing to loving in a page or two.

I feel like Swanson didn't quite know where to go with the book, and lacked a good editor or proofreader to help her along. The motivations and events seemed schizophrenic in their twists and turns - and not in a good mystery way. There were times when I thought she was trying to be funny - but if she wasn't she missed in a big way. The same jokes are repeated through the books (and the series several times). It's not good writing or a good series.

However, looking back, there is kind of a ridiculous, funny charm about the book. This may only be true for me, because it was a bonding thing I did with my class or because I'm still a school psychologist. I wouldn't recommend the books, but I may read a couple more in the series, if I can find them cheap.

Tags: download, denise swanson, ebook, pdf, murder of a sleeping beauty (a scumble river mystery, #3)

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