Book Review: Teen Frankenstein

I am so excited that I am getting this review in just under the wire. This book is officially released tomorrow. The ARC was provided kindly by NetGalley (back in October…for Halloween…)

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Teen Frankenstein

by Chandler Baker
January 2016

Format: ebook, arc
Genre: horror, gothic, young adult, classic retellings
Rating: moose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 3.75/5 Moose

Synopsis

Victoria “Tor” Frankenstein became obsessed with curing death after her father is killed by lightning during one of his experiments. Unfortunately, she and her best friend Owen keep failing at bringing back rats. One dark and rainy night, Tor accidentally hits a boy with her car, killing him pretty quickly. Rushing him back to the lab and increasing the voltage, she is able to bring the boy back to life, now named “Adam” as he suffers memory loss.

Adam is a nearly perfect human specimen, minus the memory loss and the occasional angry temper. Shortly after he starts at her high school, kids go missing and turn up violently murdered. And in a small town, a new kid and serial killer arriving at the time doesn’t seem like much of a coincidence.

Characters

Victoria “Tor” Frankenstein – A junior, who excels in the science field. She’s a bit of a nerd and genius, causing her to think she’s better than everyone around her. After her father died and her mom spiraled out of control, she began researching bringing back people from the dead.

Owen Bloch – Owen is Victoria’s best friend, who is a bit of a tinkerer. He’ll take apart and put back together anything. Victoria frequently thinks he just doesn’t get her, and he unwillingly helps her out after she kills a boy.

Adam Smith – Not much is known about Adam’s past in the beginning. But after he is bright back from the dead, he is a naïve, overgrown toddler. He joins the high school while Victoria tests his ability to blend into normal culture, eventually joining the football team and dating one of the prettiest girls in the school. He has a terrible temper and occasionally disappears. He needs to be recharged every so often as well.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

I’ll admit, I put this book off as long as possible. I read the first 2-3 chapters and set it down. I don’t know what it is about Frankenstein, but I’m a bit of a purist I guess. In fact, I regretted accepting this ARC shortly after doing so.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that after 10%-15% of the book, I was actually enjoying it. I’m not sure if I just was so against reading it at first that I didn’t realize the MC was female, but it took her killing a guy before I finally realized it. At first, I thought that was a really bad sign, but actually, kudos to the author. Victoria comes off as a sociopathic teenager, just how you would expect Sherlock Holmes to be as a teenager. She “doesn’t react like a normal teenage girl,” as a she frequently realizes, but what’s even more so is she doesn’t like a normal person, period. She’s out to protect the main goal: her science experiment Adam.

The book was dark without being overly gruesome, a decent horror mix. I blame the bumpy beginning on my own issues, and rereading it would probably show it to be much better than I remember it.

The issues I had with the book aren’t anything major. The amount of times “My Adam” is started driving me nuts, or consider making a drinking game. I get it, I do, but cut it in half and it’d probably still have the same affect. The twists — Adam’s past, who the Hunter is — could have been done a bit better. They’re both a bit rushed for my taste.

Also, I really loved her dog’s name — Einstein.

Final Verdict

I’m super apprehensive about this being a series rather than a standalone, but I’ll definitely check out book 2 when it comes out. I’m assuming it’s about someone else? I can’t imagine Tor finding another body so soon, or having a different story.

As for this book, give it a shot. If you like Frankenstein retellings, totally worth a quick read.

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