Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fused by Kari Lee Townsend

Book Details
Fused by Kari Lee Townsend
Paperback, 208 Pages
2010, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 1402240422
Series: Book 1 of The Samantha Granger Experiment

When you make a face or cross your eyes, do your parents tease that if you're not careful, your face might stay that way forever?

Well, my parents said that if I'm not careful, I'll turn into one of my gadgets.

I thought they were joking, people!

But-somehow, someway-I have become a living, breathing, walking piece of technology. Apparently my head now has a built-in GPS and my palm is equipped with talking and texting capabilities-just like my cell phone!

Now I'm a techno-superhero with powers that seem to have a mind of their own. And, in my case, keeping a secret identity is harder than it sounds. I short-circuit every time Trevor Hamilton looks my way.

Like being a girl isn't stressful enough.

I love the concept behind The Samantha Granger Experiment. The mixing of superhero and modern gadgetry felt very fresh and now. I didn't absolutely love Fused, the first book in the series, though.

Samantha becomes "fused" with her cell phone after touching a huge otherworldly crystal and becomes capable of doing anything her cell phone could do. This felt like a standard superhero origin story and I would have liked to know a little bit more in the way of how and why the crystal effected Samantha like it did. Once her powers become active, she seems to have no control over them. I could understand a learning curve with the new powers, one which would explain why she didn't just know the answer to every question asked of her, but was also unable to stop herself from blurting them out. I couldn't quite understand why she was receiving failed 911 calls and her body would just drag her to the place of the call. This was explained, sort of, but it just seemed like an extreme way to force Samantha to become a superhero as opposed to just a girl with powers. None of these are huge issues and all of which could very easily be explained in the next book in the series.

Samantha is an 8th grader and I found her very hard to relate to. I enjoy young adult and middle grade fiction, but this book felt very young to me. Fused is definitely a book written very clearly for the age group of its intended audience. I think my 10 year old daughter would love this book and I would happily recommend it for her to read. I probably wouldn't do the same for my adult friends who like juvenile fiction though.

Fused starts The Samantha Granger Experiment off with an excellent premise and a lot of potential for growth. It didn't become an instant favorite of mine, but I could definitely see it as a huge hit for the cell phone obsessed preteen crowd.


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