ARC Review: A Long Way From Douala by Max Lobe | Teen Ink

ARC Review: A Long Way From Douala by Max Lobe

September 8, 2021
By Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
62 articles 23 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.
-Walt Whitman

A Long Way From Douala by Max Lobe was nothing short of a bitter disappointment. I was pretty hyped up for this book; it seemed short and sweet, and so far from what I usually read that I was naturally intrigued. Why, oh why, did it have to let me down? 

Not only was the language extremely crude, but the storyline carried no real meaning. Yes, they are off in search of Jean’s brother. Yes, it is dangerous. But what happens in the end? NOTHING! Robert is long gone and Jean decides to take a walk and call his mother. End credits. That was it. 

Pushing aside the disappointing ending, the style of writing was hardly my favorite either. Lobe jumped from present to future, making the story confusing and jumbled. Maybe that was part of the charm; getting a backstory as well as venturing into the present. But the backstory wasn’t worthwhile, and could be very disturbing!

And the crude language was so often that I always found myself grimacing in disgust. When I read a book, I want less bad words so I can try to enjoy the storyline and characters. In the case of this book, less would have been a whole lot more.

The only thing I actually liked about the book was the setting. Cameroon sounded so beautiful and so different, but it was hidden under the bad language, annoying ending, and disappointing characters. I really hope that someday a book will really let this setting thrive instead of dumping all of this unneeded stuff on top of it to make it more “interesting.”

I’m sorry to say that this book wasn’t even remotely close to my cup of tea. Lobe will not be getting any more of my business and I certainly won’t be directing any further traffic to A Long Way From Douala.

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