Let The Monster Out
Synopsis: Bones Malone feels like he can’t do anything right in his new small town: He almost punched the son of the woman who babysits him and his brothers, he’s one of the only Black kids in Langille, and now his baseball team (the one place where he really feels like he shines) just lost their first game. To make matters worse, things in town are getting weird. His mom isn’t acting like herself at all—she’s totally spaced out, almost like a zombie. And then he and his brothers have the same dream—one where they’re running from some of their deepest fears, like a bear and an eerie cracked mirror that Bones would rather soon forget.
Kyle Specks feels like he can never say the right thing at the right time. He thinks he might be neurodivergent, but he hasn’t gotten an official diagnosis yet. His parents worry that the world might be too hard for him and try to protect him, but Kyle knows they can’t do that forever. Even though he’s scared, he can’t just stand by and do nothing while things in this town get stranger and stranger, especially not after he and Bones find a mysterious scientist’s journal that might hold answers about what’s going on.
But when faced with seemingly impossible situations, a shady corporation, and their own worst nightmares, will Kyle and Bones be brave enough to admit they’re scared? Or will the fear totally consume and control them?
My Rating: 2.75 stars – rounded up to 3 stars
cover 4; characters 3; plot 2; pace 2; writing 3; enjoyment 2
My Review: This one wasn’t for me. I didn’t DNF because I really like to try to read through the Mid-grades to give a good review on them.
This cast of characters is very diverse, multiple kids of different races, with multiple backgrounds, and varying personality ticks. I think most kids will be able to find themselves in one of the characters that are presented to them. I am not part of any of the groups represented in the characters so I cannot attest to whether the portrayals are accurate or not.
As for things that may make it difficult to connect or harder for a kid to understand is that our MC’s play baseball and there’s quite a lot of baseball talk. Personally, I loathe the sport but I get the terms and things but if we’re talking a 10 year old who has never really had anything to do with the sport? I think they’d get very bored and/or confused fairly quickly. It could be a sticky spot for them.
There was a lot of brain science jargon that I was just like “Okay 12 y/o, when did you become an expert on thermonuclear astrophysics?” Which is not the correct branch of science for this book, but a great Agent Hill quote, so we’re going with it. You’re confused? So was I. Point being, it gets a bit weird in the science department and idk, I guess kids are smarter than me.
The plot was a bit meh for me. It was just too blatantly obvious about everything that was happening. Which like, cool, it’s for kids, but I feel like on one hand this book was expecting kids to be super effing smart to understand what the characters were talking about, but we were being spoon fed the plot.
I didn’t have fun. Spooky mid-grade for me are an escape. It’s probably one of my highest read genres and this one just wasn’t fun for me.
I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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