Friday, 11 January 2013

Operation Eiffel Tower - Elen Caldecott

Publication Details

Published by Bloomsbury on July 5th 2011
200 pages
37 chapters

This book was sent to me for review from the publisher in return for an honest review. I have not been paid or told in any way to review this book positively or negatively. Everything stated in the review below is purely of my own, personal opinion.


Lauren, Jack, Ruby and Billy live by the seaside with their mum and dad. But their parents are always arguing, and then their dad moves out. Lauren and Jack decide they have to get them together again. And so begins Operation Eiffel Tower...


Operation Eiffel Tower is a children’s/middle-grade novel that bravely explores the issue of how children cope and react when their parents argue, fight and pretty much hate each other.

In this novel we have three main characters – Jack, Lauren and Ruby.  Although there ages are never specified in the novel, we can assume that Lauren and Jack are around the 12-15 age range, while Ruby is presumably within the 6-8 age range. We also have Billy – the baby of the family, but he’s not mentioned much. Jack, Lauren and Ruby are siblings that are currently suffering through their parents arguing and yelling and fighting constantly, over and over.  Pretty early on in the book, the children discover that the number one way to get two people to fall in love is a romantic dinner for two by the one and only Eiffel Tower. Once the children discovered this information, they become instantly set upon raising money and paying to send their parents away to Paris for a romantic weekend.

I enjoyed all of these characters, especially Ruby. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and dedication they had throughout the entirety of the book. These children are so determined to help their parents stop fighting and once and for all, get them to love each other again, and I really loved that determination, it made me enjoy the book a lot more and hope that the children would get what they wanted in the end. I loved Ruby’s character especially because she was like a constant light in a dark room – being so young made her kind of oblivious to everything going on and the consequences of what could happen and I found I liked her character the most because of this, she is the perfect character to have around in a situation as dire as the children’s, she never fails to melt your heart with adorability and make you giggle with her obliviousness to what was truly surrounding her and the situation she was in with her siblings.

Overall, the writing style was enjoyable. It’s a little less advanced than what I’m normally used to considering this is a children’s novel and I usually read Young Adult novels. Although I enjoyed Elen’s writing style, I did have issues with it. I found that there wasn’t enough description – especially when it came to the characters. I feel like a huge part of reading a book is being able to visualise and place yourself in the setting with the characters, watch their movements, hear their words and in order to create an image of the characters we need descriptions of what they look like, what age they are, how tall they are – and that is exactly what this book lacked. When characters were introduced we were told their name and we’d move on without a description. Basically, we’d be expected to create the characters in our heads, based off nothing, which for me made it much harder to visualise and therefore enjoy the book at certain points.

Although the writing style kind of put me off a little at some points I still managed to thoroughly enjoy the book and the characters within. Considering the book is only 200 pages long, Caldecott manages to squeeze in a decent amount of stuff whilst keeping the pacing of the novel fluent and consistent, there were never moments with too much going on or moments when I was bored – and that’s one thing I always look for in a book, if it bores me for a significant period of time, I’m likely to lose interest and put the book down. This book succeeded exceptionally in this area and kept me engaged and interested from beginning to end.

5 out of 5 stars

Check out my YouTube video review of Operation Eiffel Tower!

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