3.5 Stars for Dog Head Code
Dog Head Code
Joe Jones has two things on his mind – finding treasure and winning Annie Larson’s heart. Trouble is hunting for treasure means digging up trouble, and Annie’s heart has a parental lock on it, even the Hulk can’t break.
Joe’s treasure hunt begins after inheriting an old book containing a map from his Great Uncle Jake. The map points to Dog Head Island. With the help of friends and family, Joe travels to Dog Head Island searching for buried treasure. But in this isolated, spooked-out place, danger slithers around like snakes. Joe is terrified of snakes.
It is said that a ghostly green light haunts Old Jake’s place. Ghost or not Joe is determined to find that treasure, but what he finds is not silver and gold. What he finds can either make him grow up real fast, or not allow him to grow up at all.
I am a huge Scooby-Doo fan, so the first thing to attract me to this story was the excitement of a ruh-roh mystery. And it was not disappointing. It had all of the elements of a good mystery. For example, it had an ancient book left to Joe by his Great Uncle Jake. It contained a treasure map. It had a ghost haunting the mysterious Dog Head Island and old Uncle Jake’s house was completely gothic, and filled with secret passageways. The ending was fast paced, and placed Joe from one terrifying situation to another. Zoinks!
Adding to the mystery was a very sweet, innocent romance. Even though tastefully written, it often conflicted with the main plot in the quest to find the buried treasure. It took a long time for Joe to make it to Dog Head Island. In the meantime, I found myself rooting for Annie at times I probably should have been rooting for Joe to find treasure. Nonetheless, Joe’s affection and need to protect Annie, often at the risk of his own life, were everything a young aspiring hero should be. Even though I felt his character could be developed more, I liked him. His intentions were noble.
If you are looking to read a YA romance with buried treasure, this is your gem.