Review: The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have (Timmy Failure #5) by Stephan Pastis
Source: Hardcopy courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada/Candlewick Press. Thank you!
Publication: September 27, 2016 by Candlewick Press
Banishment from his life’s calling can’t keep a comically overconfident detective down in the latest episode by New York Times bestseller Stephan Pastis.
This book was never meant to exist. No one needs to know the details. Just know this: there’s a Merry, a Larry, a missing tooth, and a teachers’ strike that is crippling Timmy Failure’s academic future. Worst of all, Timmy is banned from detective work. It’s a conspiracy of buffoons. He recorded everything in his private notebook, but then the manuscript was stolen. If this book gets out, he will be grounded for life. Or maybe longer. And will Timmy’s mom really marry Doorman Dave?
“Do you love others, Timothy?”
“I dunno. Do you?”
Five books into the eccentric and comical Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis and mysteries and misunderstandings are still running amok. In a previous post, I talked about my love of the series- the weirdness, laughter and strange sweetness of Timmy’s world. The aforementioned mix of traits are still alive and well with The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have; but in this title, we meet a few new great characters that show just how helpless, in denial (and extremely obstinate!) Timmy can be.
In The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have, a big change is looming for Timmy: his mom is set to marry Doorman Dave. Now, those familiar with Timmy’s great skill in avoiding big, personal issues, will know that Timmy will focus his attention on everything but the major issue at hand. Rather than face the impending wedding and life changes, Timmy turns his attention on continuing detective work (surreptitiously) in the midst of being banned from doing any detective work. Throwing further wrenches into his plan to operate his spy work on the sly are cousins Merry and Larry- staying with the Failures and in Timmy’s room- before the big wedding. So, Timmy does the rational thing and decides to take over a garden shed at the Home Despot to continue his operations… Of course, being Timmy, he is waylaid by focusing on spurious dead-end cases and by the fact that his best friend Rollo Tookus is becoming chummy with (gasp!) Merry and Larry. Standing fierce by Timmy’s side through all of his mistakes (both small and…HUGE), though, is Molly Moskins- the tangerine-scented girl who loves Timmy. Pastis throws in a little surprise courtesy of Molly at the end, which I especially adored, as Molly Moskins has become a series favourite for me!
Overall, the Timmy Failure series, five books in, continues to surprise with Pastis’ particular brand of offbeat, very funny writing, and new characters who prove to be a real hoot. While Timmy himself is an ongoing puzzle, sometimes infuriatingly stubborn and oblivious, Pastis manages to balance those less-than-beguiling characteristics by matching Timmy against family and friends who push Timmy to show his vulnerabilities. Any readers who have enjoyed the previous titles in the series or Pastis’ other work with comic Pearls Before Swine will likely enjoy The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have. Readers who like series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Terrible Two, Big Nate, or Tom Gates, might especially be interested in giving Timmy Failure a read.
I received a copy of this title courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada/Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.