Thursday, April 25, 2013


Title/Author: Fangboy by Jeff Strand.

Genre: Dark Fantasy.

Publisher: Delirium Books.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: Nathan.

Favorite Quote:  "You will grin and you will speak in creepy whispers..." ~Professor Kleft.

Synopsis: Nathan Pepper seemed like an ordinary baby…except for a mouth full of scary sharp teeth. Because his life began with his grandmother strongly recommending that he be destroyed as soon as possible, it's safe to say that Nathan was not destined for a typical existence. 

He hated the nickname “Fangboy,” but nobody could deny that he was the most frightening little boy in town. And he would have adventures of every sort. Tragic adventures, like what happened to his parents. Dangerous adventures, like his encounter with the sinister Professor Mongrel. Thrilling adventures, like the part where he's on an out-of-control horse and he can't make it stop running and you think “Well, he should just jump off,” but he CAN'T because it's going too fast and he could break a leg. And, yes, one particularly gruesome adventure, though it is not described in great detail.

Will things end happily for Nathan? Will he bite somebody? Gather your family and your most deranged friends, make some chocolate chip cookies, and share the dark comedy treat of FANGBOY, a bizarre yet heartwarming yet rather tasteless saga that—all ego aside—will define a generation.
My Thoughts:  Poor little Nathan.  All he wants is to fit in and be liked.  Doesn't everyone?  The problem is he has fangs for teeth.  His situation probably is not helped by the wacky world he lives in either.  His grandparents reject him at birth, his parents basically hide him.  Then they pass away and he is thrust into the hard, cruel world.  First an orphanage, then the woods, when he finally finds a nice home a mishap sends him out into the cold world again. 

This is a laugh out loud and shake your head in wonder tale.  Jeff Strand has a talent for taking his meandering thoughts and observations and spinning them into a narrative full of an oddly joyful silliness.  You could say this is a dark tale, delivered in a humorous way. Along with this Fangboy elicits a world weariness and reminder that people can be cruel regarding one's differences.  As a reader, my emotions brought me up to giggling amusement and down to sad empathy.  Happily, the tale of Fangboy ends on a positive note with Nathan learning from his experiences and wanting to emerge in the world as a do gooder. 

Nathan is a delightful character not really different from other little boys at all.  His circumstances perhaps have made him a bit more thoughful and a bit more pensive.  He has to be conscious of his fangs at all times and the trouble they might bring, but of course, that's not always possible.  The other characters in the book were just as interesting.  Some were more over the top than others, but they never failed to deliver a measure of folly.

Although I often wondered where exactly the story was going more than a few times the book this book went by quite fast although it seems that every time Nathan takes one step forward he takes two steps back. It's an easy read and quite entertaining. Fangboy has a fairy tale quality that includes journeys, magic, villains and fairy godmother type encounters as well.  Fangboy has to prove himself just as any hero and experience the trials and tribulations before he can find a happily ever after.

All in all: A cute and charming book, suitable for all ages. 


fakesteph said...

This looks really fun! I really liked the author's YA: A Bad Day For VooDoo. He's clearly very talented with hilarious dark comedy.

Jenny said...

Look at his little face on that cover Pam! I just want to hug him, fangs and all. What awful grandparents he has...grrrr. I kind of want to slap them a little. I love a book that's quirky and fun, and this definitely seems like that kind of read. Fabulous review!

Kevin said...

Aww this sounds so sweet and original. I might pick it up for my nephew.

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I am definitely going to pick this up for October's readathon (always planning ahead to the next one!). I love a little dark humor!

Fireflywishes said...

I love the cover on this one. I haven't ever heard of this book or the author and it sort of makes me think Tim Burton-ish, who I love!

Excellent review! :D

April @ My Shelf Confessions

Jen | Book Den said...

Yay! I loved Fangboy. :D Poor little Fangboy... *giggle*

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