I just finished reading this book. The full title is The Fat Kid’s Wolfy Revenge: Not for the Weak Hearted or Mature Minded. The premise of this book was great. There is a werewolf running around and our protagonist, seventeen-year-old Joe, spots him one day killing someone. But instead of running to the cops, he decides to blog about it and live vicariously through the werewolf, since his own life is kind of boring. Great idea. If only the execution had been as good as the concept.
I really wanted to like this book. It started out well enough, with Joe being established as a fairly typical teenager living in a small town in Arizona which is just the dullest place on earth. So when he catches the werewolf killing a girl from school, one of the stuck-up princesses who wouldn’t give people like Joe the time of day, he rejoices and instantly writes about it on his blog. It is a pretty funny (if somewhat sick) scene involving the wolf and silicone breast implants.
And that’s when the book starts to go off the rails. See, the werewolf is sort of a teenage lycanthrope version of Dexter, killing only the people who “deserve” it, except in this case the people who deserve it are the jocks and rich kids who make fun of the geeks. That would be all well and good, except that as the story goes along, Joe becomes just as reprehensible as the people who so enjoys seeing the werewolf kill. And once we meet the werewolf, he turns out to be just as bad. You generally need someone to root for in a book, and none of the characters in this thing were likable. Joe is a movie-quote spouting, pop-culture loving teen, but he’s also mysogonistic, homophobic, and racist. The writer tries to do the “I’m hip and I’m not really this way it’s all just good fun” routine, but it doesn’t work. The gay jokes and women are sluts rants and aren’t aren’t illegal aliens a pain tirades soon grow tiresome.
Which leads to another big problem. The story is told from Joe’s blog, so you expect a consistent voice. That’s fine, but Joe brings in a couple of other voices. One is a girl who has witnessed the werewolf killing, and the other is the werewolf (once Joe learns who it is) who happily and in great detail talks about three of his kills. So, a perfect chance to have some different voices in the story. But no, these other characters sound and write exactly like Joe. And everyone of them relishes in watching people getting killed in incredibly gruesome ways (you expect that from the werewolf, but the girl found it no big deal either watching someone get decapitated). When the werewolf describes the kills, they are amazingly gruesome, to the point of just being dull becuase the shock value has long disappeared. By this point, you’ve gotten beyond caring.
Now it’s possible the author was trying to say something about how our teenagers have become so desensitized that horriffic violence is no big deal, or that all teenagers at heart are just complete jerks. Maybe there’s some deeper meaning I’m missing (but considering the title, I doubt it). Unfortunately, it just comes off as a thin, repetitive joke about bad teens getting ripped apart by someone who’s just as shallow and unlikable as they are. Rating: 3/10