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Teen Frankenstein: High School Horror

Review

Teen Frankenstein: High School Horror

TEEN FRANKENSTEIN by Chandler Baker felt like a peanut-butter and Sriracha sandwich. It was different, it was unexpected and it was something I certainly wouldn’t have thought of trying.

Baker --- author of the amazing novel ALIVE --- puts a unique twist on Mary Shelley’s well-known FRANKENSTEIN in her second book. It was executed fairly well, which was refreshing to see as most of the “modern twists” on “old tales” end up ripping off of the success of the original story. Baker really made this story her own, and that was both a vice and a virtue.

To start off, we meet Victoria (Tor) Frankenstein, who takes after her dad in the science department. She’s obsessed with reanimating the dead and is determined to do so at some point in her life. We see her develop throughout the story, but Tor seems to have sociopathic tendencies at times and, as one of her classmates puts it, thinks that she’s “better than everyone else.” Regardless, Tor’s determination is inspiring and it’s a treat to see how different parts of her personality show through.

Tor’s determination is inspiring and it’s a treat to see how different parts of her personality show through.

We also meet Owen, Tor’s best friend. Owen is a sarcastic guy, but he remains loyally at Tor’s side, just as a best friend would. As an avid romance reader, I was expecting some cliché romantic tension between Tor and Owen, but there was none, which was quite pleasant. Owen is the only character in the story who provides some much needed reality checks, which is nice because the plot of TEEN FRANKENSTEIN can be fantastical and hard to believe.

Another major character in the story is Adam, the boy who Tor hits with her car, kills and brings back to life. After being reanimated, Adam conveniently has amnesia and can't remember anything about his past life, not even his name, which is why Tor names him “Adam.” Adam imprints on Tor and sees her as a bit of a caregiver. He is a sweet boy, following along with Tor and letting her shock him to re-energize him, even though he screams whenever she does it. There are definitely some cute moments between Tor and Adam, and it was quite nice to see that the author didn’t exploit that relationship and turn it into a full-fledged romance.  However, it’s really heart-wrenching to see how Tor only sees Adam as an experiment.

I thought the beginning of TEEN FRANKENSTEIN was a bit boring, but the middle was incredible! I loved that each of the characters developed and were all influenced by their peers, almost like real high schoolers. However, even though there will be a sequel to TEEN FRANKENSTEIN, the ending seemed very forced and down-pat. In fact, it felt like the author was diverging from the actual plot of the book to solve a sub-mystery of her own.

To conclude, I would recommend this book to those who are really into science-fiction, thriller, horror or just generally creepy and spooky books. I wouldn’t recommend it to children under the age of 14 because it does have some very, very mature themes that younger readers may not be able to understand yet. Overall, it was a great read and it was definitely a pleasant break from my usual romance-filled bookshelf! 

Reviewed by Vaishnavi S., Teen Board member on January 15, 2016

Teen Frankenstein: High School Horror
(High School Horror Story Book Series #1)
by Chandler Baker