The Purple Haze, 4.5/5
Author Information: Andrew Einspruch, an author of the 20th and 21st centuries, writes and has published over 120 children's and middle aged books. Every book's topic varies; he has written alternative-universe fantasy, non-fiction about DNA, basketball, the Australian government, Australian heroes, and Christmastime stories. He is an advocate for all species and is a co-founder of the non-profit charity "Deep Peace Trust."
Pages: Approximately 468
Book Number: 1 of 3
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Humour
Summary: Princess Eloise Hydra Gumball III is the first twin and the OCD one. When Johanna, Eloise's younger sister by seventeen minutes runs away, Eloise is obliged to save her, even if it means leaving her comfort zone. She travels through multiple realms with her friends and bodyguard, meeting and dealing with many new, strange peers along the way. But she won't go home without her sister. She can't.
Initial Impressions: My standards for The Purple Haze are high after reading The Wombanditos. I got a feel for the writing style and the atmosphere, and now we're moving on to the main plot and conflict. I'm excited to see what crazy story Einspruch set us up for with the prequel!
Halfway-Through Notes: Although it took me a few chapters to get hooked, I am impressed. Einspruch proved his talent for writing in The Purple Haze! The plot is obviously well thought-out, the characters are consistent, and I am captivated enough to continue reading! I'm excited to see how the story concludes; I have a hypothesis already!
Opinions: Perhaps Einspruch has never heard of Chekhov's Gun, but it doesn't matter. The Purple Haze can only be described as a hoot! It is light-hearted and full of innocent humour. This is the first YA "fairytale" I've read, and it set the bar high for others (if there are any). There is an unbelievable amount of creativity and, at times, randomness in The Purple Haze, allowing it to be an easy and fun read. The ending unfortunately does not end on much a cliffhanger, but based on the amount of fun I've had with The Purple Haze and The Wombanditos, I will continue reading anyway. I also can't say I learned much/took anything from the book, but sometimes you just need an entertaining, thoughtless read.
My Favourite Thing(s): I enjoyed the innocent humour while reading The Purple Haze. A lot of YA authors stretch themselves to write innuendos, roasts, or other inappropriate jokes, but Einspruch just wrote what was natural. There are a lot of plays-on-words (champignon vs. champion), bizarre stories (losing an eye and a kidney in a freak kumquat harvest), and ridiculous word choices (spangly bits). This book could easily be considered too juvenile to be funny for teenagers, but I enjoyed the break from all of the awfully written sex jokes.
I was also able to connect to these characters very easily for two reasons. One, Einspruch (although not right away) described them and showed the readers who they were. There was a range of character types and personalities, which opened up for more people finding a person they enjoy reading about. Two, there are a lot of "experiences" or "situations" that I share with the characters, including speaking French and having OCD. There are a lot of random French words in The Purple Haze, and because I speak French, I find it even funnier. I also see myself in Eloise a lot because of her OCD tendencies, such as "knowing when something is just right." The numbers in the library "just make sense." I noticed these habits right away and connected with Eloise, which made engaging with the text easier.
My Least Favourite Thing: There were too many characters introduced at once in the first two chapters, which made it confusing. Are there two chipmunks? And what specifically is a champion? There's a duck...? These issues rolled out soon after the conflict was introduced, but it was a bit difficult and deterred me from engaging right away.
Overall Rating: PG
Adult Content: PG
Recommended For and Similar Reads: I'm not entirely sure what other books are similar in plots, but what comes to mind is The Ancients by Mike Wolff, though only because of the animalistic relations. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland come to mind, too! On another note, if you are tired of the formulaic, cliche, cookie-cutter YA novel, this is for you! The Purple Haze and the rest of the series is a perfect break from the silly romances and high school drama.
Setting: Western Lands (imaginary)
Publisher: Wild Pure Heart
Publication Date: August 3, 2018
Per FTC regulations, please know that I received this title for free for review from the original author, the publisher, publicist, or a third party. I am honest in my reviews, meaning the fact I received the book for free does not alter the rating I give it.