Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Just Deserts
Eric Walters

Rating:  ***

            Captivating and thought provoking, the novel Just Deserts allows readers to immerse themselves into the life of a spoiled American teenager who is thrust into the unforgiving wilderness of the Sahara desert. 

            Ethan only cares about two things in life- not getting expelled from school and drinking- until one day he pushes his luck too far.  A friend of his had posted a video online of a drunk Ethan imitating the headmaster of the private school he was attending.   Furious and fed up with his recent behaviour, Eric’s father sends his son across the globe to teach him a lesson.  Alone and equipped with only a note from his dad, Ethan must journey across the barren landscape to the city of Tunis; a 200 kilometer trek.  He battles the harsh elements of the desert, as well as the symptoms of withdrawal he is faced with without his usual swig of alcohol.

            This novel presents many challenges and forces readers to reflect on their own life and how it compares to that of Ethan’s.  The climate in Canada is so vastly different from that of the Sahara desert, which makes it difficult for Canadians to directly relate to Ethan’s struggles.  However, the author, Eric Walters, focuses a lot on the mentality that Ethan had to maintain while travelling.  This mental state is vital to staying in any survival situation.

I thoroughly enjoyed Just Deserts and would definitely recommend to anyone in search of a satisfying read.   

Walters, E. (2011). Just Deserts. Puffin Canada

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