I really have no idea what I read in Lemonade Code by Jarod Pratt. At first, it seemed like it might be a funny story about a boy and girl (he a mad scientist; she his new perky neighbor with a big ol’ cat) and how they have lemonade stands that rival each other. There was the diverse cast which was a plus. I did not expect it to turn out to be a full on “kill or be killed” with nanobots, bullies and a ragamuffin dog that even I liked (even though he had some issues, but then again you be raised by a mad scientist kid and his evil scientist mother, Dr. Mama and see how you turn out). But I guess I should have realized that when Robbie’s lemonade stand could make you a cup of “dirty diaper squirrel roadkill” lemonade (or anything you can think of) things were not going to be my cup of tea.
There was potential with Robbie (evil scientist) being a super super genius, and not just a genius. And there was potential to see that Robbie and Daphne (new neighbor) become friends when they learn that Dr. Mamma is actually working with/for Daphne’s family (which did not happen in this volume. Just wishful thinking on my part. But it would have been cool to see them team up and not be rivals). And I thought maybe the bullies (and yes there are bullies on top of everything else) would “learn their lesson.” But none of that happened. Sure, Robbie and Daphne work together when one of Robbie’s experiments goes crazy, but at the end they still are on opposites of the bad spectrum. I mean, from page one, Daphne might have seen a little ditzy and clueless, but she starts off antagonizing Robbie from day one with a less than cute “pet” name. And in the actual finished copy I had, there seemed to have a whole section misplaced at the very end of the book (even after the extras of the book) instead of where it would have worked best and explained half the action happening.
Jey Odin does have some fun illustrations. I was sometimes not completely sure of what was going on via the text, but the art was able to show the action. Lots of cartoon images, colorful colors and splashes of details all over. A few bumps here and there but that could have because by not even halfway through this graphic novel, I was losing interest. Why then did I finish you ask? Because like Robbie I don’t like to be beat by my nemesis. In my case it’s not a cute girl named Daphne, but a book that laughs at me for not “getting it.”
This is best for an age range of 10 and up.