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A Reader of Fictions: Jeopardy! Theme - Merv Griffin

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jeopardy! Theme - Merv Griffin

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen

Author: Donna Gephart
Pages: 276
ARC Acquired from: Delacorte BFYR via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Olivia Bean loves trivia. Every evening, she watches Jeopardy!; this is an inviolable ritual. Before her parents divorced, she always watched with her dad, who knew all of the answers, except for geography. Olivia, too, can't remember geography, but she knows that if she could, she could totally kick butt on Jeopardy!. She desperately wants to go on the kid's show, especially since she would get to California, where her dad lives now. When pretty much everyone in her life, including her nemesis, helps her practice, she finally might be able to make her dream come true.

I can totally relate to Olivia, because I definitely watched a lot of Jeopardy! in my childhood years, although I was not nearly as good at it as she is. Unfortunately, I definitely suffer from brain freeze (and not the kind you get from drinking something cold). I really liked the basic storyline, focusing around her quest to win Kids Jeopardy!, and to improve her life along the way. Olivia's a little tightly-wound, but I suppose that's what I expected from a girl dealing with a new stepdad, the neglect of her biological father, and the slight bullying of her classmates.

Her stepdad is a librarian! He's not quiet like so many fictional librarians are; actually, he sings really loud a lot, which is, from my personal experience, very true of the best librarians. Unfortunately, this loud singing can sometimes interrupt jeopardy. Rude!

Olivia totally hero-worships her dad, which is rather unfortunate, considering how obvious it is that he is awful. The whole reason Olivia cannot remember geography is because of his programming. He was no good at it, so he told her she wasn't either, probably because he didn't want a kid to beat him at Jeopardy!, which he probably views as his thing. Way to hold your kid back!

Every chapter title is phrased in the form of a question, like any proper Jeopardy!-themed story should be. Of course, the book isn't only about Jeopardy!; it also focuses on divorce, friendship, and the awkwardness of middle school flirting. Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen is a cute story, full of fun facts. Now I kind of wish I were smart enough to try out for Jeopardy!!

Rating: 3.5/5

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Blogger Nori said...

This sounds so cute! I feel like parents have been tending to come off as awful lately in children's and YA lit though. Are good characters not allowed to have loving parents?

March 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM  

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