Friday, February 22, 2013


ARC courtesy of

Russel is determined to survive his breakup with Otto.  It was a mutual decision that their long distance relationship was probably not going to work, however, they both agreed that their friendship would continue.  Now Russel is swearing off love, but his other close friends, Min and Gunnar, don't believe that is possible.

Russel, Min, and Gunnar begin a new adventure the day they observe two teens climbing out of the dumpster behind their school.  The two identify themselves as Wade and Venus and surprise Russel and his friends when they also identify themselves as "freegans."  They explain the freegan lifestyle by offering to show Russel, Min, and Gunnar how they live.  According to Wade and Venus, they live using the things that the rest of society throws away.  They take Russel and his friends to a camp where local homeless people are living and show them how the castoffs of others are used to help these homeless folks survive.

This lifestyle is fascinating, but Russel is even more fascinated by the fact that Wade is gorgeous.  He decides maybe he should give love another try.  Russel finds every possible opportunity to get together with Wade.  They begin spending more and more time together, and Russel begins to think there might be a possible relationship forming.  Things begin to crumble when Gunnar's passion for documenting his life on film uncovers a possible terrorist-like plot that may change what they think about the freegans.

Author Brent Hartinger continues the saga he started in THE GEOGRAPHY CLUB.  His characters have many adventures in the series that started with the formation of the club, and they continue in THE ELEPHANT OF SURPRISE.  Russel and his friends have their eyes opened to an unusual lifestyle and also to the fact that not everyone around them has good intentions.

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