Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

wickedpediaA review by CJ Dee

Cole is a high school valedictorian contender. Gavin is his best friend. Winnie is Cole’s ex-girlfriend and rival for the valedictorian title. Josh is Winnie’s current boyfriend and star of the high school soccer team. When Cole and Gavin discover that Josh is keeping his grades up by plagiarising Wikipedia, they decide to do a little editing on the topic of Josh’s next presentation. Public humiliation and academic probation ensue. Cole and Gavin also wrote Wikipedia entries for some of their classmates with silly deaths listed. When someone starts making the deaths come true, it’s up to Cole to find out who.

Though if he had’ve listened to me, the book would’ve been about 150 pages shorter.

At first I thought I wasn’t enjoying the novel because I couldn’t relate to a teenage boy who was allegedly very smart while making some very stupid decisions. After a while though I realised that was a cop-out. I’m not nor have I ever been a teenage boy, but I could relate to Harry Potter.

The characters are two dimensional and the four main characters were all incredibly unlikable. The world building is non-existent. There is no suspense partly due to the fact that the reader has no reason to care what happens to these characters, but also because the deaths are disjointed from the rest of the story.

After finishing Wickedpedia I read the blurb. Whoever wrote the blurb either didn’t read the book at all or paid no attention to the finer points of the story. The blurb has a few of the points right and gets the character names down; other than that, it is filled with inaccuracies. A minor issue, yes, I suppose. But it only adds to the issues of the book.

Wickedpedia is part of the Point Horror series started by R L Stine, which is fitting because it feels like a Goosebumps rip-off that doesn’t create any new ground in the genre of YA horror nor emulate its predecessor well enough to be a clone. The Goosebumps books managed to be fairly scary for their target audience with interesting concepts or funky twists on old concepts. Wickedpedia is an interesting concept that has been mangled into a predictable and tame book.

Rating:full starfull starEmpty starEmpty starEmpty star 2 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 054541587X
ISBN13: 9780545415873
Format: Paperback, 221 pages
Publisher: Scholastic