“… I hate myself, Dr. Luther.”
“But not so much that you didn’t come asking for help.”
I hope it’s pretty obvious to everyone, by now, that I’m a big fan of the superhero tropes. And it’s just that, actually- tropes. I recognize where things are generic story elements being slotted in, and I love it- it’s something familiar, and quite often people can do interesting things with them. It’s like the people who build functional computers in Minecraft- sure, there’s only a couple different elements you can use, but good lord is there some impressive work being done, overall.
This book… wasn’t like that. There was a little bit of it present, in the weird little chapter headings1 – a mechanic that took me a little while to catch on to, actually. It’s a very fun idea: the story plays itself out during the chapters themselves, but each heading describes the generic-YA-adventure-novel tales of Satchel and the other “indie kids.”
The goal of the book was, clearly, poking fun at those- the title is a hat-tip to that, with everyone trying to live in a world that’s plagued by the occasional outbreaks of whatever was popular in our world’s adventure novels at the time. They had zombies. Most recently was a spate of “beautiful vampires.” Sound familiar? And then, my favorite bit, the John Green nod, with references to “all the indie kids dying beautifully of cancer.”
Except the book didn’t quite get away from all that. In writing style, I’d call it almost a John Green novel itself. Or, rather, the child of John Green and Terry Pratchett. If Pratchett had written a summary or idea for a book, sketched out a couple of the characters,2 and then handed it off to Green to finish up.
I liked it, I suppose, though not as much as I could have. It was just a little bit too depressingly real for my tastes, I suppose.3
Nonetheless, a good book, one that I felt compelled to read through rather than do my homework today. Give it a go, I suppose.