Hello again! (for real this time). I have several reviews lined up to start off 2021 better than ever, so I hope some of you will stick around (:
Lucy is a high school student on the verge of a much needed summer vacation, which she plans to spend with her best friend, Bucket. But after attending an end-of-the-year party in the caves near the outskirts of Turner falls, it is clear the summer will be anything but relaxing. Suddenly, the “best and brightest” kids of Turner Falls are turning into savage killers, bent on killing anyone who crosses them: and the whatever has ahold of them is quickly spreading.
I had so many hopes for this book and I was let down by all of them. For starters, this was billed as a “Stranger things x World War Z” crossover, and although I know nothing about the latter, I was a big fan of stranger things. But the only comparison I could see was a foreign entity terrorizing the town (a pretty vague similarity). And while Stranger things had an excellent plot, lovable characters, and lots of suspense, this book had none of the above.
By the end, what little plot was built up is absolutely pointless. The characters are all pretty annoying, there is a completely unnecessary amount of gore, and the details of the outbreak only get more and more bizarre. I feel like the author was going for shock value with every aspect of his writing, from the risqué comments made by all of the characters, to the absolutely over the top violence, and everything in between.
Which leads me to my next point: this is not a YA book. I’m 21 years old and I can’t imagine someone the same age as these characters (middle of high school) or younger reading it. I didn’t even want to read it. The only two themes seemed to be sex and violence.
I also want to point out that the author of this book, I am fairly certain, is white, and the main character of the book, Lucy, is Mexican. She experiences lots of racism and slurs used against her throughout the story. I am in no way qualified to speak on the accuracy of her representation, but if any of my POC friends have read this, please let me know your thoughts!
The only reason this gets 2 stars is because, for some odd reason, I was compelled to keep reading through each horrible turn. Maybe it was grim determination, or a hope that somehow things would get better. Either way, the ending was seen worse than the beginning, and I was left disappointed.
Pace: Fast but repetitive
Intended audience: Adult
Content warnings: LOTS of violence, mentions of sexual assault, suicide, death of family members