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Project 17

Project 17 - Laurie Faria Stolarz To say I devoured this book is an understatement. I think I literally read all 248 pages in a matter of hours... in one sitting. I just could NOT put this book down.The reader is first introduced to Derik, a kid who does not have much of a future going for him- he has low grades in school, may be forced to run the family diner, and is know as Derik LaPlaya. He is convinced his life has a very bleak outlook for him. In a last hope effort, he decides to put all his remaining hopes on a film contest. In order to make his film stand out, he recruits 5 other teens in the hopes of making a Real World type documentary set in a mental institution, which is set to be torn down in a matter of days. This "breakfast club" group soon realizes that things are not as they seem as they find a patient's journal, and dig deeper into the institution's secrets.What I liked: I LOVED that this book was told in alternating points of view, and it was done seamlessly. There is nothing that puts me off worse than a book that feels choppy due to this writing method. The characters feel like real teenagers - they are relatable, have depth to them, and talk and act like real teens. But what I think I loved most about this book was the journal entries. It really gives you a feel for what a day in mental institutions could be like. You can tell that the author did her research with this book, and I think it paid off.What I did not like: The only real complaint I have about the book is Chet. He is used as comic relief, and for the most part does a really good job. But in the first half of the book, he is continuously playing pranks and after the second one, I was tired of them. It started to kinda feel like filler.Overall, it was an interesting read that I had my doubts about going into, but I am so glad that I gave this book a try. (FYI-- There are some creepy parts so you may not want to read this book at night. Personally, I thought it was more suspenseful than scary.) I really recommend it. It is funny, has an interesting back story, and a little heartbreaking.