my take: I've loved everything I've read by Gary Schmidt ... he currently teaches at my alma mater ... so I have this connection and admiration for his work. Seriously, Okay for Now was one of my favorite reads in 2011. I was very excited to see Prof. Schmidt had a new book out ... I even bought it in hardcover.
Oh, woe ... I didn't LOVE this ... I think the main character is as good as his others, but when the second chapter went into a Tolkein-like fantasy world, I was rather disappointed. The chapters go back and forth between Plymouth, MA and outer space or some other world and I just didn't like that other world with it's own strange language and battle scenes.
I suspect I'm not his target audience, so I'd love to hear from middle schoolers if they related to the characters.
Humph. Will wait for the good professor to publish again.
my source: browsing Calvin College book store
my verdict: the jury's out on this one ... need to hear from a young adult