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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2011
I think it's fair to say that Grisham should stick to writing for adult readers. I fail to imagine how any teenager could identify with the extremely irritating Theodore Boone and his perfect little upper-middle class lifestyle.

Theo is set up as some apparently flawless bilingual child prodigy (with no hobbies or interests outside the courtroom). Every now and then Grisham throws in some half-hearted attempt to show that Theo is in fact a regular kid (instead of the socially-awkward defence attorney in his 50s who he otherwise seems to be), but it doesn't make up for the fact that this character is completely 2-dimesional, and just plain boring. Similarly, the other characters in this book (from the court judge to Theo's dog, called, uh, Judge) are unremarkable - except for the strange fact that they all seem to worship Theodore as some kind of legal Messiah. There was no 'bad guy' as such anywhere - however, this didn't bother me particularly since I already hated the entire cast by about 10 pages in.

The plot was mediocre at best and non-existent half the time. Grisham seemed to spend a very long time on some very minor points and rushing through or totally ignoring others (such as the entire ending). My favourite scene was when Theo showed his Powerpoint presentation to the class. It was done in such detail that I'm surprised it wasn't revisited later in a dream sequence.

I suggest that you avoid this book. As a matter of fact, the novel seems a little like a minor court case itself, in that nobody particularly wants to be there, you don't like the lawyers, you fall asleep every now and then, and nobody cares about the eventual outcome - you're just glad it's over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2012
Despite reading several good reviews of Theodore Boone, I have to state that for me this book was a massive disappointment. The protagonist is a perky, thirteen year old kid, altogether too good to be real and preternaturally adult in his thinking. Some of your reviewers seem to think that this book is aimed at kids but nothing in the blurb or cover suggested this to me. If it was meant to be a kid's book, then I give it two stars

To be frank, I received the impression early in the story that Grisham was going through the motions on his laptop without any serious concern about what was appearing on the screen, almost a case of writing rubbish and relying on his name to sell it. For example, the attitude of a presiding judge in a courtroom towards a thirteen-year-old, would-be lawyer was the stuff of fairy-tales. And the idea of several kids in his class at school coming to him for legal advice struck me as being quite ludicrous. Had I not wasted a good book-token on the hardback version, I would never have finished it. I have no doubt that if the writer had submitted this MS to a publisher under any other name but Grisham, it would never have been accepted for publication.

From the man who wrote The Firm, The Client, A Time to Kill and many other best sellers worthy of their fame, this was a poor effort indeed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2010
I expected quite big things from a youth fiction book by John Grisham especially as he'd set himself up to write a teenage novel to rival Harry Potter. But expecting big things usually sets you up for a disappointement and that's exactly what this book was. Bearing in mind it's supposedly written for teenagers it has no kick-start action, no suspense, no angst, no twists, no turns, no sub plot and no side kicks. It's just a very one-dimensional story about a boy who'd like to be a top lawyer following a murder trial in his home town. For a book which hinges around a murder it's surprisingly lacking in pace or drama and although Theo is likable enough he does nothing to endear himself to the reader. Then when Theo is finally faced with a big dilemma Grisham breaks the seemingly unwritten rule of Teen Fiction which says that the main character cannot under any circumstances enlist the help or advice of an adult. Instead he goes straight to mummy and dady and his uncle Ike to sort it out for him. But the one thing you can surely expect of a crime drama is a tense court scene. Nope! Not this time. The book inexplicably ends before the tiral is concluded. It may be a shameless way of ensuring a sequel but I doubt I'd bother to read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I found this book hard to put down. John Grisham's characters are well written. Theodore Boone, the 13 year old son of two lawyers is just an ordinary kid, but he has a dream one minute to be the best lawyer in the USA then he wants to be a well respected judge.
The town is buzzing with a murder trial, the accused suspect is a local business man. Theodore is his class courtroom reporter. He also finds a witness who can put the accused at the crime scene when the murder was committed and a pair of discarded golf gloves that the prosecution, defence and police do not know about. With the help of his ex-lawyer uncle and his parents, there is a problem owing to the his witness is an illegal immigrant, Theodore goes to the trial judge. Yes, the trial judge is a family friend. Theodore is a regular visitor to his chambers. Theodore has his own "legal practice" in the Animal Court.
John Grisham has laid the ground for the next Theodore Boone novel, but due to his filling in the family background and revisiting Theodore's past exploits, the books can be read out of sequence.
I've pre-ordered the next Theodore Boone novel>
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2010
I think this must be considered a children's book. It reads that way, and it also has a disappointing and inconclusive ending - not that a children's book necessarily has to be inconclusive.

Grisham is perhaps the most popular thriller writer ever. The Firm is a superb story, The Client is very clever, and The Chamber is a very fine novel about racism that just happens to also be a legal procedural. However, these books are in the past, and lately it seems that Grisham does not feel the need to try to produce books at this level. In fact, he seems best with much lighter books, such as Playing for Pizza and The Coach (both about American football). These books do not feature gangsters, there are no lawyers, and there is very little plot, but they are well-written and pass the time on holiday or on a plane.

Theodore Boone is a let-down. Hopefully Grisham will take the time to do some really fine thrillers for adult readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2011
IF the book's cover had said that it was aimed at young people, it would have been fair enough - I wouldn't have bought it. However it didn't give any indication so I bought it - because I've enjoyed most of his previous books - and now feel thoroughly cheated out of my cash. I read it in half a day: large print, simple plot, and think - as a kid's book it's fine.

HOWEVER this is a seriously commercial book - knocked out in no time, a very few bangs for your buck / book. It's got the full recipe of an Enid Blyton - young central character with a mongrel dawg who outwits adults on their own turf. Couple of "demon-prince" baddies emerge to add to the drama and, as they are still up and running and ominously tailing the goodies about when the book (sort-of) ends abruptly you can bet your *** that this is, without doubt, book one of a long series that could last as long as Grisham lives.

It's a con. Don't buy into it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2013
My 11 year old daughter is a voracious reader. She loves Skulduggery Pleasant, the Eragon series and has just finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I bought her the first Theodore Boone book in an attempt to get her to read about something other than dragons, magic and wizards. She practically finished the first book in one sitting then went down to the local bookshop to purchase the other two with her birthday money.

I have always been a fan of John Grisham, perhaps because I too am a lawyer, and thoroughly enjoyed my daughter reading these books to me.

I'm now in the process of re-reading some of the early Grisham books to establish which ones would be suitable for my daughter to read. She has been nagging me to let her read them because (in her words) Grisham is "really, really good writer".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2013
I have read most of John Grisham's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I have also read a vast amount of Teenage fiction, (courtesy of my 11 year old nephew) Alex Rider, Young James Bond, Percy Jackson etc . The first Theodore boone book did not really meet my expectations. Alas the book has put my nephew totally off John Grisham, which is a real shame. The plot was laborious and not enough action for a teenager. I can only imagine that as this is john grisham's first foray into the teenage market, that he has not quite found the right pitch . It is possible that subsequent Theodore Boone books are better but I am not sure I want to waste my time plodding through them. I remain however a great fan of John Grisham's adult books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2011
OK, it's not terrible, but it's not what you might expect from a John Grisham book. Firstly, it's aimed at 10 year old (ish) age group, which I didn't immediately realise. The large text should have given it away, but the lack of depth certainly did. Don't expect it to keep you entertained for too long, as I read it in just under 3 hours. There's no thinking involved here, just a simple story.

But the most irritating thing for me was the obviously unfinished ending. It looks like it was written as a 2 parter. It certainly feels like half a book. I would have no real compulsion to go out and buy the 2nd half of the story should it ever come out.

Couldn't recommend this to an adult. Rating as per an adult book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
I thought my 9-yr old would like this. She loves Nancy Drew, which features an 18-yr old. But not only is this a really tedious read, I had to give up reading it at the description of the murder about 5 chapters in. My daughter had already given up during chapter one, but I said "it will get better and more interesting". I was wrong for page after page of irrelevant detail. Grisham is full of himself in adult fiction, which I actually quite like, but this is not suitable for younger children despite what some reviewers say. Murder is not a nice crime with which to begin a series. Legal stuff is really quite boring. Enough said.
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