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The Project

The Project is YA thriller by Brian Falkner.

It all begins when trouble-making buds Luke and Tommy call The Last of the Mohicans the most boring book in the world in front of their principal. They’re given a goal: prove the book is indeed the most boring book in the world through an outside source, and not only will they be allowed to do their report on another novel, but they’ll also avoid punishment on their latest escapade.

During that particular research, Luke learns of a book called Leonardo’s River. There is only one remaining copy surviving, and it has been misplaced over the last one hundred years. Apparently, this is the most boring book in the world. And it’s so rare and so weird, that there are people offering two million dollars from it!

Before he’s able to continue his study to get Tommy and him out of trouble, a major flood is starting and they volunteer to help out at the library. There they assist in moving the books tucked away in the basement to higher ground – and that is when Luke sees it.

Leonardo’s River.

Tommy and Luke are determined to have it – and justify their stealing it by rationalizing that the library really never knew what it had in the first place! But after it’s in their possession, they begin to wish it wasn’t.

Other people are looking for the book – dangerous people. And it appears that Leonardo’s River might be hiding secrets inside its mind-numbing pages that Luke and Tommy can’t even begin to understand yet.

But they better figure it out soon, because whatever these people want to do with it – it doesn’t look good!

The Project started off relatively strong for me. Luke and Tommy’s antics were amusing and certainly made their characters vibrant from the get-go. However, once the actual plot kicked in, I felt the book started to fall flat.

Remember, this is just my opinion – and I’m always sad to give anything other than high-praise. But in this instance, the thriller aspect, running from bad guys, figuring out the mystery of the book, it all didn’t click for me. I pretty much couldn’t get in to it. I did like Luke and Tommy, like I said. And there were parts I was a big fan of – particularly when Luke tried to read Leonardo’s River to find clues. That was hilarious! So, believe me, this was in means a “bad” book – I just didn’t find the enjoyment or suspense that the book’s inside jacket cover promised me.

Yet – you may. I almost feel like The Project may be a more male-oriented book. I hate to say that because it sound so sexist, and I know there will be girls that will like it too! But with the tone and characters and overall plot, I think there are probably a ton of guys out there who would love The Project.

I liked good portions of it, but in the end I skimmed the last quarter. The Project simply wasn’t for me. I do, however, like how Brian Falkner slipped in a large amount of book-praising in a subtle manner. Any bibliophile couldn’t help but have their hearts warm from that!


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