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Monday, October 10, 2011

Caution: Don't Blink, You Might Miss Something

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Living on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has taught 16-year-old Brent Conboy (aka "Blink") a thing or two. Like how to score a free breakfast. Picking uneaten morsels off room service trays left outside hotel room doors is lucrative enough to take the risk of getting caught. One day, though, he bites off more than he can chew. A lot more. After witnessing what turns out to be the kidnapping of an important CEO, Blink makes a crucial mistake: he gets involved.

Blink's not sure what exactly he saw outside of the CEO's hotel room, but it didn't look to him like Jack Niven was taken by force. The businessman appeared to be calm, unharmed. That's all Blink means to tell Jack's daughter when she calls on the Blackberry her father left behind - he doesn't want to start talking to her, doesn't want to be confiding in her, and, most of all, doesn't want to trust her. Except he does. As much as Blink needs to walk away, he has to help Alyson Niven find her father and not just because he feels bad for her, but because she'll pay him to do it.

Things get even more complicated when Blink meets Kitty "Caution" Pettigrew, a snarky 16-year-old on the run from her drug dealer boyfriend. Kitty's got all the street smarts Blink lacks and she's willing to help him find Niven. For a price. Without her, he may not be able to pull the whole thing off. But can he trust yet another girl he hardly knows? Or will his plan backfire, landing Blink in jail or worse - six feet under?

Blink & Caution, a new YA novel by prolific children's writer Tim Wynne-Jones, is one of those can't-put-it-down, edge-of-your-seat thrill rides that leaves you breathless with all its heart-stopping twists and turns. And yet, it's not the adrenaline rush that makes the book so compelling. It's the intertwining stories of Blink and Caution, two wounded souls who find redemption in each other. Although the mystery itself gets predictable, I enjoyed Blink & Caution's quick pace, the characters, and the storytelling (although the voice in Blink's sections takes a little getting used to). I haven't read anything else by Wynne-Jones, but that's about to change.

(Readalikes: Reminded me a little bit of The Client by John Grisham)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for strong language, violence, and some sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Blink & Caution from the generous folks at Candlewick Press. Thank you!


  1. Sounds fun and quirky. This is a new title for me and I greatly enjoyed your thoughts about the book.

  2. This sounds excellent. I'm looking for a few good fast-paced books for the Readathon later this month, and this sounds like it would be perfect!


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