Here are two somewhat related new horrifying titles. One is a survivalist adventure and the other is a murder mystery.
Perfect for middle school male readers who might not be all that interested in reading, Jeff Strand’s second foray into writing finds a brutally honest, and almost pathetic, nerd of a hero in sixteen-year-old Henry Lambert.
When Henry’s parents pack him off to Strongwoods Survival Camp to make him more of a man than a video-game-playing, scared-of-seahorses couch potato, he finds himself with four other boys and confronted by a seemingly madman named Max, their brutish and no-nonsense camp leader. As they navigate the challenges Max has set for them, Henry seems to perform worse and worse, except at archery and that was just a fluke. Through some funny conversations with himself and imaginary people and the half-chapters where the characters are being interviewed by a crazy reporter, this books is largely ridiculous and is bound to make teens laugh at something or at least be amused. However, turns out Strongwoods Survival Camp just might have had the desired effect after all, which Henry discovers when he’s faced with a real life or death situation and must save not only himself but his fellow campers.
This survival story started off light and amusing, what with a geeky main character who is forced to do something to “become a man”, but ended up into somewhat of a horror situation. I thought that while the story was interesting and might catch male teens attention, Henry was not acting like a sixteen-year-old, rather more of a fourteen-year-old. Other than that, this book might make you laugh out loud at the ridiculousness and unusual situations. Think of a less serious or satiric Holes or possibly a Disney channel movie. It might be good to watch/read, but once is generally enough and the subject matter is never too deep.
Note: There are graphic violence, sexual connotations, language, and alcohol references.
Fans of the theater, Twitter addicts, and lovers of murder mysteries might find this one interesting. Very short read!
Briana “Bree” Beland is in her first year at a new school, MacHale, a prestigious private school that her mother attended before her, and she’s just come back during break for Winterm to snag a part in the Winterm play, Hamlet. When the director suddenly passes away, the new director opens up auditions to include the local public school as well. Suddenly, Bree is on the outs of a part in Hamlet just when she did a fantastic audition as Ophelia. Instead, the new director wants her to be the play’s ‘social media director’ and tweet about everything concerning the play. Briana is disappointed about the role, but she does gain a new follower called “Hamlet’s Ghost”. As other people start mysteriously dying, “Hamlet’s Ghost” begins be goading her and commenting about the murders. It looks as though something horrible might be going on, and Bree caught in the thick of it. Will she catch the killer before it’s too late or will she be next?
Note: Murder mystery so graphic violence. Very little sexual references or language. Alcohol is present.