The weekly post where I recap some of the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Ocasionally, I’ll also talk about some adult fiction books as well.
We read so many Dan Santat books in our home that my kids can now recognize his art style, which I think is great. I picked this up from the library but it took me forever to actually read it. I don’t know why, but I thought I knew what the book was about just by the cover and I was completely wrong. This is such a sweet story. The ending surprised me and I feel like I may have gotten more out of it as a parent than my kiddos did. Highly recommend.
I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel! You can read my full review here.
I had no clue what this book was about when I picked it up to read. The story is a bit quirky and unusual and that makes it feel fresh. It is about a girl trying to save her struggling tourist town once known for its Bigfoot sightings. At it’s center, it is a story about growing up, learning that some things aren’t as straightforward as we thought and realizing that this is ok. The characters are upper YA aged (getting ready to graduate high school) but I feel like this is a solid middle grade book.
August 13, 2021 UPATE: I wrote my feelings at the bottom before finishing the final 3 chapters of the book becuase I thought that I had a good overall impression. Unfortunately, the final chapters of the book soured me to the whole thing. Yes, I do feel like this book is targeted to teenage boys, and those parts of the book I got used to once I realized it. But I feel like the book’s ending was harmful in many ways.
The following sentences contain spoilers, which I normally do not include, but I feel these are important to expressing how I feel.
The main character, Doug, starts the book out as a nice enough kid, but turns into a pretty unlikable character and doesn’t really redeem himself by the end. He uses the f-slur a few times (referring to not being gay), which was very jarring, but I was waiting for him to come back around and show a significant amount of growth, which I do not feel he did. He is assigned a gay vampire as a mentor, who is constantly regarded as weird, odd, or off by the other senior vampires. And then at the very end, it is revealed that this gay vampire is the bad guy and has been targeting young teenage boys to turn into vampires in hopes that they will be so offended that a gay guy turned them instead of a sexy female vampire that they’ll seek him out to kill him becuase vampire suicide is “ungrateful” and distasteful. There is so much wrong with this. There are a few female characters that are implied to be lesbians, so I could see some making the argument that the baddie being gay isn’t a negative thing. But I would say that this very much feels like the fetishizing of f/f relationships with m/m relationships being wrong and other. I also feel like it is perpetuating the damaging stereotype that gay men are also pedophiles. I will not be reccomending this book to anyone, which is disappointing becuase I really enjoy Adam Rex’s picture books.
Original feelings: I had no idea that Adam Rex wrote novels. I mostly know him from his funny picture books, which I love so I decided to give this one a shot. I enjoyed this book overall, but it took me a bit to get into it. My biggest problem was that, as a 36yo woman, I am not the target audience at all. Once I realized that, the book was much more enjoyable. This very much felt like a book for teenage boys, which was very refreshing, once I figured it out, because I don’t think there are enough YA books targeted at teen boys. And it is very funny in typical Adam Rex fashion.