Monday, June 16, 2014

The Monsterjunkies An American Family Odyssey Book 1 Review

Title: The Monsterjunkies An American Family Odyssey: "Being a normal Family is a State of Mind" (Book One 1)
Author: Erik Daniel Shein and Theresa A. Gates

Another e-book! I like supporting indie and self-published authors which is why I have decided to review such books on this blog. I will be getting back to reviewing mainstream books alongside e-books soon though. But for now, let's review The Monsterjunkies Book 1!

The story takes place in Maine so as I New Englander I have to support it just based on that. Kidding! But seriously, I did enjoy this book. The story is about a group of teenagers who live at Monsterjunkie Manor and with a name like that you have to expect monsters to be involved. The manor is home to not just the teenagers but also all sorts of magical creatures. Of course, while this can be a alot of fun it is also difficult growing up in such a different home and being bullied for being different.

That's really the main themes of the story: Learning to stop hiding and not being afraid to show who you are. The Monsterjunkies teens have had to wear masks their entire lives growing up but, as the authors put it, "It is the people who take off their masks and show the real person inside who truly find meaning in their lives." This theme of masks hiding one's true self and learning to remove said masks plays throughout the book. But just like how the Monsterjunkies kids are really not spooky, there are others who hide behind a mask of goodness when they are anything but good.

The actual story focuses on two teens, Crow and Indigo, who live at the manor. Everyone at school knows where they live and the two face a lot of bullying as a result. They are assumed to be creepy people just because they live in a house with a reputation for being spooky and full of monsters. It is not just the kids at school that pick on Crow and Indigo, but the adults do so as well which I liked seeing in the book because we often overlook that sometimes adults are also the problem.

The Monsterjunkies falls under a new genre called YA Visionary Fiction which basically means that the book deals with real issues, such as social issues and bullying, with a bit of magic and esoteric wisdom. Throughout the story the authors touche on the theme of bullying through creating a fantasy world filled with strange and interesting monsters.

The monsters add a little fun element to the story that I feel really helps to add to not only the message of the story but also the creativity and fun of the story. The plot is actually well developed and the characters are great. I really felt like the characters were representative of real teens facing real problems. Crow and Indigo, while siblings dealing with the same problem, both have different takes, feelings and experiences related to being bullied.

This is a great book for any teen feeling bullied and also likes monsters and more gothic-esque things. Of course, it is also just a good book for anyone to read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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