Another awesome review from Westover's star volunteer, Sarah:
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
I'm sure you've read many a mystery novel, but none quite like this. The Mysterious Benedict Society is an incredible mystery story with unique characters in unique situations.
The book primarily follows Reynie Muldoon, an orphan and child prodigy who goes to take a test in the hopes of getting some "special opportunity." Reynie is one of four who passes the test, along with Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire, each extremely unique in their problem solving tactics and there personalities. The four are introduced to the tests' creator, Mr. Benedict, a genius who is trying to gather a team of children to save the world.
The story of this book is one of the most well thought-out plots I have ever seen. All of the mystery is complex and thought-provoking, and it creates a brilliant web of suspense. When I first read this book, I was absolutely unable to put it down. The plot is captivating and engaging, and it makes you want to continue reading for forever.
Additionally, the book's characters are diverse, well-developed, and likable. Stewart does a wonderful job providing contrast for each character's defining traits. For example, Reynie is a pretty adaptable guy while Constance is unbelievably stubborn. This allows the reader to be able to tolerate and enjoy some of the more extreme characteristics that some characters possess.
The one qualm that many people have with this book is that it has a slow start. I agree that the beginning is slow, but I found it to be quite enjoyable. If, however, you do dislike the 70 page (or so) introduction, my suggestion would be to stick it out. Believe me, you will be rewarded in witty comments and brilliant mystery that is completely unique to this book.
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