Thursday, 17 February 2022

Operation Do-Over - Gordon Korman

Operation Do-Over
Gordon Korman
Balzer & Bray
ISBN 9780063032743
eISBN 9780063032767
ISBN 9781443193788
eISBN 9781443193795

Wow! This story is Gordon Korman’s book 99. Yes you read that correctly, his hundredth book is the next one out, The Fort. My introduction to Korman’s works was the 39 Clues back in 2009. Since then I have read 15 of his books. Barely a drop in the buck, but with each one I read I am entertained and often challenged. My son who is 14 did not initially want to read this one because of the description about a fight over a girl. But when he saw how much I was enjoying it he gave it a try as well. 

My son and I started reading Gordon Korman books together a few years ago. Prior to that I had a read a few of his contributions to the 39 Clues. We have mostly been reading his more recent titles. We had this one on our wish list from a Canadian bookseller but the US version released almost 2 months earlier so we tracked it down there. (In the US published by Balzer & Bray an imprint of Harper Collins, in Canada published by Scholastic.) I consider Korman a master of the Middle Grade and even Young Adult genres. His books are amazing for kids, tweens and teens. And even some of us older readers. C.S. Lewis in On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature stated: “It is very rarely that a middle-aged man finds an author who gives him, what he knew so often in his teens and twenties, the sense of having opened a new door.” Korman accomplished that in this and to be honest many of his other books I have read. With 1 shy of 100 books published it is hard to say something an author has written is very new and different. But I can state that this was an amazing read! The description of this books is:

“Mason and Ty were once the very best of friends, like two nerdy sides of the same coin . . . until seventh grade, when Ava Petrakis came along. Now Mason can trace everything bad in his life to that terrible fight they had over the new girl. The one thing he'd give anything for is a do-over. But that can't happen in real life--can it?

As a science kid, Mason knows do-overs are impossible, so he can't believe it when he wakes up from a freak accident and finds himself magically transported back to seventh grade. His parents aren't yet divorced and his beloved sheepdog is still alive. Best of all, he and Ty haven't had their falling-out yet.

It makes no logical sense, but Mason is determined to use this second chance to not only save his friendship (and his dog!) but do other things differently--like trying out for the football team and giving new friends a chance. There's just one person he'll be avoiding at all costs: Ava. But despite his best efforts, will he be able to stop the chain of events that made his previous life implode?”

And what a ride the story is. Many of Korman’s books are told where the Chapters are alternating first person accounts. This whole story is first person told from Mason’s eyes. But the chapters in this give his age:

1. Twelve Years Old
2. Zero Years Old
3. Seventeen Years Old
4. Twelve Years Old
5. Twelve Years Old
6. Twelve Years Old
7. Twelve Years Old
8. Seventeen Years Old
9. Seventeen Years Old
10. Twelve Years Old
11. Twelve Years Old
12. Twelve Years Old
13. Twelve Years Old
14. Twelve Years Old
15. Twelve Years Old
16. Twelve Years Old
17. Twelve Years Old
18. Twelve Years Old
19. Twelve Years Old
20. Twelve Years Old
21. Twelve Years Old
22. Twelve Years Old
23. Twelve Years Old
24. Twelve Years Old
25. Twelve Years Old
26. Twelve Years Old
27. Twelve Years Old
28. Twelve Years Old
29. Twelve Years Old
30. Seventeen Years Old
31. Seventeen Years Old

Mason believes he may be dying or lost his mind, when he wakes up back in his 12 year old body. And yet has clear memories of being 17 and having lived those 5 years. Once he concludes it is not a near death experience, and that he actually has a chance for a Do-Over. And he does everything he can to try and stop some of the bad things happening. And his main focus is on Ava, his dog, and his parents’ marriage. In trying to not fall for Ava and lose his best friend he ends up alienating him anyways.

The question is, is Mason doomed to relive those five years and make several mistakes over again, or even make them worse. Or will he get a do over and be able to make things better. How many of us have something that we have in our lives we would not have done, or done differently or better. Would we take a change and go back and change it not knowing what other changes we might cause to happen.

Another amazing read from Korman’s masterful pen! 

Reviews of other books by Gordon Korman:
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
The Emperor's Code - 39 Clues Book 8
One False Note - 39 Clues Book 2

The Unteachables
War Stories

Ungifted Series:

Slacker Series:
Level 13

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