I sooooo wish I could have given this book more of a great review. Kill the Boy Band (Goldy Maldavsky's debut) was my fave funny book of last year
No Good Deed is set up around a promising premise. Young activists are chosen by billionaire entrepreneur/do good-er Robert Drill (who is a caricature of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates) to attend a teen summer camp/activism competition. Gregor Maravilla is excited to get an invitation to attend his idol's camp. He dreams of winning the internship to work alongside Robert Drill, the most interesting man in the world in Gregor's eyes.
Sarcasm and zingers abound but most of the characters never come to life. No Good Deed satirises activism's flaws and the p.c. fishbowl that we live in. Media has made even the most bland comments into something they are not. Gregor keeps getting called "white" and insists he is half-Mexican although no one believes him.
Every camper is competing for his/her own cause--the more far-fetched, the funnier. At least that's how the book is supposed to read. The kids are so checked out and into themselves that they don't bother knowing anyone else's real name. They refer to each other by their specific cause. There's I Like Paint, Feed the Children, Men's Rights, Seat Belt Safety, and Diabetes.
Gregor is not excited that teen movie star Ashley Woodhouse is at the camp. Her campaign is Eat Dirt which she insists is a real thing. Eating dirt would save the planet according to Ashley and end world-wide hunger. Gregor keeps trying to avoid Ashley, yet everywhere he turns, she pops up.
Moldavsky's debut Kill the Boy Band is a tough act to follow. Goldy Moldavsky is still funny, but her humor is contagious when her protagonists are female and flawed. In No Good Deed, Gregor never engages as the central force of this novel.
Grade 9 and up. Some humor and funny moments, but this one falls short.
352 pages 9780545867511 Ages 14 and up
Reviewed by: Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA
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