Reviewed: December 19, 2010
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Milrose Munce, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 224 Pages
Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Nook
Milrose Munce is an exceptional young man. At fifteen-years-old, he finds school mostly a bore, as he usually knows the material before...and much better...than the teachers. He relies on his closest friends...the gruesome, ghoulish ghosts of dead, and obviously, former students to entertain him during his educational experience. They're rather good at it, after all.
Unfortunately, Milrose's extraordinary behavior...and his habit of slapping his dead friends (invisible to everyone else) on the back and chatting amicably (to seeming nothingness) with them, has been noticed by various Powers That Be. Suddenly, Milrose's winsome, witty world is thrown off balance and he's being conscripted to the bowels of the school and relegated to endure Professional Help. A more ominous phrase Milrose Munce has never heard.
His trepidation is well placed, as he and another extraordinary student, Arabella Smith, quickly realize that Professional Help is handled nowhere near professionally, nor in any way is it to be helpful to their continued existence. Milrose Munce and Arabella Smith must hope for a far more ghoulish contingent to come to their rescue.
I loved this book. Despite being considered a young adult novel, and me being several miles past the "young" exit on life's highway, I both thoroughly enjoyed, and was consistently impressed with this smart, sharp, weird, wonderful - and gruesomely descriptive book. Oh, and it's funny, too. Genuinely, sickly, fabulously funny. Milrose was a joy of a lead character and Arabella was a fantastic sardonic counterpoint to his sarcastic point. The narrative was so intelligently written and the plot so deceptively simple that the characters were really able to shine to diamond brilliance.
I can't say enough about how much pleasure I had reading this. In point of fact, I didn't really expect it to appeal to me, but from the first sentence, and definitely the first paragraph, I was drawn in and gripped by the perfect peculiarity of it all. It was, in truth, rather difficult to look away (like a truly spectacular train wreck - but in only the best ways) from the first to the last. Cooper really showed off some impressive writing chops with this one. I'd be very interested in seeing his take on a more adult-themed novel. Taking Milrose Munce as evidence, it's quite clear his ingenuity and originality comes from a place a little left of center. It was charmingly gruesome and delightfully entertaining in every facet. I loved it.
Do you have any thoughts, feelings, and/or questions about this review?
This is your chance to express yourself. I would love to hear from you!