From the start, it reminded me of >The Giver. I'm not sure what gave me that feeling. Maybe it was the mix of reality and an odd sort of unreality. Or it could have been the use of clear, concise, and straightforward language to describe a thoroughly foreign situation. Whatever it was, it communicated the feeling that something jut isn't right.
Holes is the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy who was wrongly indicted for stealing a pair of sneakers. His sentence is a stay at Camp Green Lake, which is completely dry and without vegetation. Every day the boys at Camp Green Lake are given shovels and must dig a hole five feet deep and five feet wide. If they find something interesting, they are to tell the warden about it.
Clearly, the warden is looking for something. It's buried treasure, and intertwined with Stanley's story, we get the story of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather, who unwittingly gets his family cursed until Stanley unknowingly lifts the curse.
Now that I think of it, the story is rather preposterous. But it's just strange enough to be funny. It's that wry sarcasm.
I also liked the simplicity of the story. It isn't chaotic, with seemingly pointless chapters, just to fill time or space. Every event matters, and that's clear from the style, so when we start to hear about the saga of Kissing Kate Barlow, it's not out of place.