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If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (Secret, Book 2) Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Secret Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—This stand-alone sequel to The Name of This Book Is Secret (Little, Brown, 2007) combines mystery, adventure, and fantasy. On their mission for the Terces Society, 11-year-old Cass and Max-Ernest must find the homunculus, a 500-year-old man born in a bottle, before Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais do. The evil duo plans to use him to uncover the secret of immortality. The use of an overbearing narrator to create a sense of danger works in the beginning, but grows tiresome toward the end. The numerous parenthetical comments and footnotes are often laugh-out-loud funny, but also draw readers out of the action. Bosch creates sufficiently quirky, well-rounded protagonists, while stereotypes suffice for the secondary characters, with the exception of the homunculus. Cynical humor shines through in the portrayal of the Skelton Sisters, an evil tween pop group in the employ of Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. The dark illustrations, descending chapter numbers, and playful fonts will catch readers' attention. Fans of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins) will enjoy this slightly more fleshed-out read.—Kim Ventrella, Ralph Ellison Library, Oklahoma City, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The adventures of aspiring magician Max-Ernest and survivalist-in-training Cass continue. As with The Name of This Book Is Secret (2007), the author often intrudes on the story to offer dire warnings to the reader that even reading this tale is too dangerous to consider, presumably because of a world-shatteringly nefarious secret and the evil machinations of the two young adventurers’ archnemeses, Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. It’s a clever ploy that adds a level of heightened drama to the tale, which, underneath all the trappings, has some neat elements (a “Sound Prism,” a cantankerous homunculus) but lacks many true thrills. There are still codes for Max-Ernest and Cass to unravel and secret societies to infiltrate, but the injection of a third main cast member reeks of the old sitcom ploy of throwing in a hip new character in an attempt to make a show fresh. Chapter-opening illustrations add a lighthearted touch to this solid sequel, which is more character-driven than the first, and will hit or miss depending on what readers like more, the people or the puzzles. Grades 4-7. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316113687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316113687
  • ASIN: 0316113689
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a fun book with an interesting narrative. Cass and Max-Ernest are young adults who have recently been involved with a secret society, the details of which are located in the previous book in the series. Although you do miss out on some details of the protagonists, you could read this book without having read the previous installment, THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET.

When you read IF YOU'RE READING THIS, IT'S TOO LATE, it is as though you are being told a story by the campfire.

The characters are well-developed, easy to relate to, and have a good sense of humor. Because of the short chapters and common footnotes, I see this as a great book for a reluctant reader. It is easy to pick up where you left off and it takes you down many paths at once, keeping you interested. The footnotes typically add a humorous aspect to an interesting mystery, allowing the reader to venture in a new direction before continuing on with the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had a strong storyline with characters that took risks and maintained and created friendships.

Reviewed by: LaLeesha Haynes
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have you ever watched a stand-up comic whose act isn't working start getting desperate and a little belligerent? Well, that's what occurred to me as I read this book. To me, it just seems to try too hard, to push too hard, to be just too insistent about its own zany wonderfulness. But that may just be me. Bear in mind that this book has a sample chapter available for preview, and you might want to check that out for yourself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My son ( a 9 year old) and I have been reading this series together. He loves it! It is a mystery novel with lots of comedy. The author often pulls the reader in an aside and provides lots of comedy. The story is about three friends that must find clues to solve a mystery. Very engaging and exciting. Highly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My 9 year old chose this as our bedtime story. We both enjoyed it to begin with. The tone was funny and the story seemed adventurous. While we were reading this one, my son read the next two books at school and decided he didn't really care for how the story had developed. We never did finish reading this one. Too bad for me because I don't like to leave a book unfinished.
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By Happy on January 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
PB: Would you give yourself five stars?
PB: Only five?
PB: Five is all Amazon has.
PB: So Amazon's folly should limit my greatness?

Ok so read to the end of IYRTITL and you'll get it. I agree with the other reviewer who liked PB's interview with PB at the back of the book. That was hilarity worthy of...I don't know, someone hilarious! PB, I guess... These books remind me of the Benedict Society series except I think PB's are funnier and weirder... even though I like them both.

So yes, PB, go ahead and give yourself 5 stars...though I know you would, at the very least, anyways! And I hope there is a book 3.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel like maybe P. Bosch should have just left it with one book, a longer one, sure, which would answer everything, but one book. He/she seems to already be reaching for subject matter, when I'm sure we would have been gratified with just one. Now it seems like it'll be a series of pointless little individual mysteries, each telling us one fact at a time, drawing it out and leaving it more thin and boring each time.
This isn't to say I disliked the book. The bigger revelations (Cass's paternity) and seeing Pietro for the first time, those moments were amazing. The continued conversational tone was great as well.
But then, you get the new character, Yo-Yoji, who to me seems to stick out like a sore thumb. Why spend a whole book explaining the special relationship between Cass and Max Ernest only to have a third character ruin the two-ness of them? He seems to have no chemistry with either character, and is a male Mary Sue.
So we've got a new riddle, trying to figure out what the Secret is, and a still uncaptured Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais on the loose. Sequel material, but like I said, I'm scared about the potential sequels. The excitement of the first book was all the awesome reveals in a row, and it never got boring, while in this one, I'm sad to say there were parts that I felt were dull and should be skipped.
I did enjoy the last...erm...first chapter though! Bringing Amber and the Skeltons deeper into the story was a good move, I'd say. It's nice to see an evil enemy be the same age as the protagonists, for once. (as well as being someone they didn't exactly like to begin with =P)
I'd like more info on P. Bosch though. I hadn't actually thought of the P.B. thing until the interview, now that's interesting stuff, there!
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Format: Paperback
What can I say P.B. does it again with this thrilling squeal to that other book which I can not tell you the title to, because no one told me what it was. If you have read the first book you will not be disappointed. P.B.'s style of writing will make anyone laugh, even if your 300 years old and you enjoy wearing white gloves. Action, adventure, new friends, familiar faces (some not so good), and a bit more detail into why Cass has such unique hearing apparatuses. A must read at any age.
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