by Chandler Baker
Meet Victoria “Tor” Frankenstein, a high school student on track to be valedictorian. She and her best friend, Owen, are in her Hollow Pines, Texas root cellar turned science lab. They are trying to reanimate dead rats ominously named Mr. Bubbles. As a storm approaches and it nears two o’clock in the morning, Victoria drives Owen home. On her return the rain is torrential and he can’t see past the hood of her car. She hits a boy walking in the middle of the road. In shock he dies in her arms. The realization of the consequences hits her hard and her first thought is that she has to bring him back to life. Her altruism ends when she successfully brings him back to life. She dubs him Adam as his memory is wiped and he doesn’t know who he is.
The story continues as she and Owen enroll him in their high school. At this point Victoria only sees Adam as an experiment. Trouble follows them and they have to escape situation after situation. When teen boys are found murdered and missing body parts, Victoria and Owen suspect thy might have bought back a monster in Adam.
Victoria’s father was a scientist and died two years ago during an experiment utilizing lightning. She has to navigate her grief, her scientific aspirations and the day to day happenings of high school. As they dig themselves deeper into trouble and their secret continually looks like it’ll be exposed they have to re-evaluate the whole thing.
Author Chandler Baker brilliantly intersperses science information throughout the storyline. It is woven not only in the characters actions, but in journal entries also. While the readers probably won’t want to reanimate dead things, the story brings science to life. It makes science entertaining and interesting. Not only is this twist on the classic a fun read it is inspiring as well.
It delves into the age old question of just because scientific advances allow us as humans to do certain experiments doesn’t mean we should. It also looks into the human soul and the human experience. When is death actually death, and what makes life? Is it a body that can move on its own, a heart that beats or beyond that when a person reacts with emotion? And then how Victoria becomes more monster like when she only views the world through scientist lenses and forgets about her humanity, her emotions.
By the end of the book, the reader has to ask, which one is truly the monster.
An excellent read, an entertaining adventure, an inspiring story that all teens and adults can relate to.
Be sure to visit her website to learn about her other books at http://www.chandlerbakerbooks.com
FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title via NetGalley and Macmillan for review purposes only. No other compensation as awarded.