Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release Date: 3rd April 2009
Other Title by this Author: Joey Pizga series, Rotten Ralph series, Desire Lines, Hole in my Life
Everyone loves their mother. But what happens when you love her so much you can’t bear to let her go - ever? That’s the sign of the Love Curse. And Ivy’s got it…bad.
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs is one of the oddest books that I’ve ever read. The curse was a sort of Oedipus Complex and taxidermy was mentioned on nearly every page. It was creepy, weird and disturbing. I didn’t like it much at all.
I didn’t really connect with the main character Ivy very much. Her character and personality seemed to begin and end with the curse. I got no sense of who she really was. I also couldn’t work out what time period that the book was set in; it seemed muddled to me which was rather annoying.
On the cover there are brilliant reviews from two of my favourite British authors; Kevin Brooks and Melvin Burgess. That’s one of the main reasons that I took a chance with it, but they let me down. I’m really disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it.
However, being the science nerd that I am, the long passages explaining DNA, genetics, the nature vs. nurture debate and the processes of embalming and taxidermy (disgusting, by the way) were kind of fascinating to me. You could tell that Jack Gantos really did his research for this book, or has very strange hobbies!
I also liked how important historical figures and events were entwined in the Rumbaughs family history. I think that it added reality and depth to the story as well as telling the story of the Love Curse that definitely needed explaining!
Although The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs had a few highlights, I don’t think I’d recommend it. It was far too weird for me; even the cover was creepy (though kind of cool)!