“Teen Frankenstein” (High School Horror Story #1) by Chandler Baker (2016)
Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller, Retelling
Page Length: 336 pages (electronic advanced copy)
High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.
It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost–Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life…
Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying. (description from Goodreads)
Rather than waiting for a slow build-up in suspense like most horror novels, Teen Frankenstein jumps immediately into action. Majority of the story takes elements from the original tale by Mary Shelley since it is a retelling, but gives it more of a modern spin. Before each chapter the reader is given little snippets from a scientist’s journal which turns out to be our narrator Tor and I liked that it kept the story grounded in that Dr. Frankenstein vibe.
The novel is definitely got more of lightweight feel to it than its original predecessor and this comes from someone who really enjoyed reading Shelly’s tale in school. It’s got an overall suspenseful atmosphere, but I personally felt it was wasn’t as heavy as the original and has a lot more comedy (dark humor) in it. I thought perhaps maybe this was because it was a retelling or that it’s genre was YA?
I did appreciate the dark humor brought into the story to reinvent the tale of Frankenstein. Tor is toting around a dead guy (Adam) as her “cousin” and he takes everything at face value so he ends up blurting out and doing random things that will have the reader laughing out loud. Plus Tor and her best friend, Owen, have a fun relationship and deliver witty banter as well as cynical comebacks with dealing with the snobby popular crowd.
While Teen Frankenstein was an enjoyable read, I felt it was lacking in terms of being a horror novel. The thrill and suspense were there as well as a couple of gory happenings, but it was a bit underwhelming. It didn’t really feel like a horror novel until the last hundred pages. I just wished it would have deviated more from the original story and spiced things up some more.
FTC Disclaimer: This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review!