Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White is a middle grade mystery about teens who have a week long pass at the worst waterpark ever. The book felt like a mix of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket mixed with One Day at Horrorland by R. L. Stine, with a little bit of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb thrown in. My biggest complaint is I feel like this book couldn’t settle on a style and tried a couple. This book reads way to slow for a middle grade book, I felt at the beginning the chapters are too long. The book got more exciting at the end and had a worthwhile climax with most things getting wrapped up. The book had some moments of humor, but needed more in my opinion, i did like the macabre widow joke that is a character’s last name. The mystery when it got going was fun but it took me up to the 60% mark to get invested. This book is a start of a series called the Sinister Summer series which ties into the last name of the siblings. I liked where the next book in the series was going and it’s title Vampiric Vacation. I had just read and enjoyed Hide by Kiersten White which had a compelling mystery from the get go and needed a bit of that here. I read Wretched Waterpark thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press. Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White is published on June 7 2022.

The Plot Summary: The Sinister-Winterbottom siblings Wil the oldest sister, loves one thing her cell phone she has named Rodrigo, Twins both 12 Theo, is the adventurous sister, and Alexander is an extra careful brother are left to stay with their Aunt Saffronia for an entire summer. Saffronia knows nothing about kids and food, she gets them each week passes to the waterpark called Fathoms of Fun. When they get there they realize it going to be anything but fun. The place is falling apart understaffed, and has the worst food choices. The sibling learn that the husband is missing and things started going downhill, with his wife running the company into the ground. The siblings decide to help find Mr. Widow the missing husband.

What I Liked: I liked the sibling relationship especially how the twins worked off each other ad used the other’s strength. Wil and the relationship with her phone was pretty great, I love how the twins knew there was a problem when Wil wasn’t on her phone. I liked the climax and how the mystery ended. I loved the cover art on this one and the sequel. Some of the humor was funny.

What I Disliked: Beginning was slow, it took me too long to get invested in the story. The churros joke ran its course, it was funny for a it, but did not need to be a running gag, I did like the final joke at the end though. The kids only went on 5 rides, I wanted a lot more, I feel like One Day at Horrorland, a much smaller book, had more rides. I need more humor and more scary situations too make this book work.

Recommendation: I would skip this book, there’s some okay moments but mostly felt like An Unfortunate Events fan fiction with not nothing new to add to middle grade literature. I read a lot of Middle Grade in mainly Goosebumps but I see this novel as being too slow for them. I mean if I tried to write middle grade I’m sure my attempt would be similar as fell, but this book felt to close. I have liked White’s more adult novel Hide, which I would recommend. I hope the next book in the series is better since I did enjoy the end. I rated Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White 3 out of 5 stars.

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