Song I listened to while reading this:
For this book, I am simply going to attach the Goodreads summary, because the real issue with this book does not lie within the actual plot.
When an MI5 mission goes disastrously wrong, James Adams needs all of his skills to get out of Russia alive.
Meanwhile, his sister Lauren is on her first solo mission trying to uncover a brutal human trafficking operation.
And when James does get home, he finds that his nightmare is just beginning.
The overall storyline was rather interesting. Uncovering a human trafficking operation where people were selling orphans into the business was an interesting premise. But I digress, there were deep problems lying within this book.
James has always been an iffy character for me. He has shown both good and bad qualities throughout the series, but I thought that in the last few books that he had started to settle down. I thought that he had stopped floating from girl to girl and treating them all like trash in the last few books. However, it turns out that I was wrong.
Now he is 15 years old, and he has gone from floating from girl to girl to simply dating Kerry. On his belated 15th birthday party, he gets drunk, and tries to pressure Kerry into having sex with her. Kerry tells him no, and that if they are caught having sex before 16 that they could be kicked out of the CHERUBs. She is only 14 years old, so she also feels uncomfortable and too young. She leaves him in tears after he keeps trying to pressure her, and he goes to sleep alone and angry.
The next day, he wakes up only remorseful because she is mad at him, and simply presents a flower as his apology. She forgives him, and the story continues.
At this point, I was more than pissed at James. In no world, fantasy or real, is it okay for someone to try to pressure a girl into having sex. She said no, and he could have left it at that. Some may say that he was drunk and that this is realistic. However, Muchamore could have made Kerry break up with him completely. Instead, she just accepts it, as too many girls in real life do, and just gets back together with him. Kerry is supposed to be an amazingly strong and intelligent spy girl, but even she just gives in and gets back with her horrible boyfriend after he gives her a measly apology. How is this showing the kids who are reading this book at 11-15 years old that pressuring a girlfriend or boyfriend into having sex is not okay? There are never any consequences for James, things just bounce off of him and he goes on his merry way having a girlfriend.
Then, at the end of the book, he decides to make out with Dana. His sister catches him in the act, Dana with her shirt off, and says she will tell Kerry if James doesn’t tell her. James is upset, not because his sister caught him and that his loving girlfriend is going to find out that he cheated on her, but that he didn’t get a chance to feel Dana’s chest. I was simply livid when I read this in the book, but I kept going because I wanted to find out Kerry’s reaction to this.
Kerry confronted James and Dana in the cafeteria, and basically James just didn’t care anymore and was just delighted in the fact that two girls were fighting over him. Dana knows of his cheating ways. He could cheat on her too, and she’s a smart enough girl to realize this, but she goes along with him anyways. Kerry should have realized that he’s not worth it, but she doesn’t and instead fights with Dana. This starts a fun food fight in the cafeteria, with everyone just having a good time chucking food at each other.
Again, what kind of lesson is this supposed to teach? That it is okay to cheat on your girlfriend simply because she wouldn’t have sex with you, and then tada you just get a new girlfriend who will have sex with you? I could not even believe that I was reading this in a book that was supposed for children.
Some people justify it saying that it isn’t supposed to be for children. However, it is published by Hodder Children’s and is classified as a Children’s book on Amazon. If it is going to be a Children’s book, then I am going to rate it as such, and this material is utterly inappropriate for one. Even if this was an adult book, I would still dislike James as a character, as I dislike his actions in general.
I want to finish this series, as there are only about 5 more books left in the series, but this book really shocked me.
Overall Rating: 1/5