Saturday, August 17, 2013

Book Review: The Perpetual Motion Club

The Perpetual Motion Club
The Perpetual Motion Club by Sue Lange
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

The story of the book revolves around a sophomore in high school named Elsa. She is a student in the school of the future where students get sponsorships from big companies if they are popular enough. The lessons are all standardized and teachers are pretty much around for pep talks and some minor instruction. Schools have robotic hall monitors and cameras everywhere.

Students have gadgets galore and printed books are almost ancient. Kids wear RFID chips on their heads so that they can be found if they go missing. But, those chips also enable them to get iHigh -- they get high by tuning in to some station that broadcast signals meant to give listeners an endorphin high.

Elsa is being encouraged to join the Science Society by her Geometry teacher, Mr. Brown and has been told that she will be getting an exclusive invitation to join. As she was leaving her Geometry class, she sees a new student who is the newest basketball star on the school team and she asks him to attend an initiation of the Science Society.

Elsa decides to attend the initiation with her best friend, May, so she can meet the new boy who does not show up. However, while sitting in to watch the initiation of new members of the Science Society, Elsa feels that Mr. Brown is not being very nice to the initiates and she decides she does not want to be part of it. The initiates were asked questions about why the Bhaskara's Wheel displayed by Mr. Brown would not work. The students tried to give their answers but the teacher seemed to enjoy embarrassing them in front of the members of the Society.

Elsa's mother, a lawyer working as a public defender, wants her to join the Science Society as it would be a major element of her resume. But when Elsa learns that her best friend May does not get an invitation, she refuses to join. During a disagreement with her mother, Elsa tells her mother that she will start her own club -- the Perpetual Motion Club.

Setting up the Perpetual Motion Club was not easy and getting it recognized or sanctioned by the school was more complicated than Elsa thought. It was difficult to find members who wanted to join. 

One day, the basketball star, that Elsa had a big crush on, was arrested as a suspect in the murder of his younger brother. The star suddenly found himself an outcast. Elsa's mother became his lawyer and he even had to stay at their house until the case progresses. Elsa tries to get him involved in her PM Club project which he helps out with until the police found that the brother died an accidental death and then he was back to being a star.

The book starts off as a very confusing one and the story does not really come together for some time. Elsa's character seems to be so utterly confused and clueless that I almost wanted to hit her head (if only I could). Her infatuation with the new student is almost creepy. Plus, the detailed information on perpetual motion is next to textbook like and it does get rather lecture-like.

Quite frankly, I did not like the book and I felt that it was a major chore to finish reading it. Having said that, I know that there are young adults out there who may enjoy reading it.

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 11:33 AM


  1. Quite a detailed review! I had to read to see what would entail a one star from you. A book that's too confusing, too textbook and lecturing, and a clueless MC would likely do it for me too. :( Writer’s Mark

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. :)