Top critical review
Silly, perverse attempt at "buddy" horror that isn't scary
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2019
I don't like to leave poor reviews because I know how difficult it is to put ideas to paper and have the courage to ask others to read it, let alone enjoy it. Billed as a "Stranger Things"-type story about a group of buddies, this book was filled with language that was abusive, racist, homophobic, and downright disgusting. I am a fan of Huck Finn, so I "get" trying to paint characters as potentially immature, ignorant - especially teens and pre-teens who may live in different socio-economic situations. Kids talk differently with their friends than they do with adults. There's no denying it. My biggest issue was with the "horror" - either write it as a true horror story (with believable "monster") or stick with the "best friends find something freaky", but the author seemed unable to decide the course to take. Instead, I felt like I was reading an attempt at Stephen King's "The Body" (made into the movie Stand By Me) set in modern times and with none of the real nostalgia OR thrill factor. Making one parent abusive didn't help the storyline. And the woods had almost ZERO to do with anything in the plot beyond creating a dark setting. Of course, woods always equate to monsters, right? Wrong. The "scare" is something that could have crawled out of the sewer in New York City or landed on Earth on a meteor - that's how little it actually had to do with a forest. Or, at least the author did not tie it to a forest well. Adolescent is the best way to describe this. If you're looking for a book that reminds you of being a 12 year old boy who wanted to steal porn magazines from the local convenience store and figure out ways to get one over on your best pals, you might be entertained. Otherwise, I hope the author digs a little deeper in their next project.