For the budget minded among you, the paperback for MAN MADE BOY is out today!
It has a shiny new cover! Doesn’t it look nice next to the “companion” novel THIS BROKEN WONDROUS WORLD, which comes out August 4th in hardback?
A guest post over at the Gaithersburg Book Festival site in which I nerd out about Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda books and all the other things I’m looking forward to at this year’s festival.
In which I answer questions about writer’s block, day job inspirations and so very much more!
Here’s some shots of my visit to Balou High School, sponsored by Open Book Fountation. It was so awesome, you guys. So many young writers, artists, creators: some fierce and already doing their thing, some timid and in desperate need of encouragement.
In which Andrea Cremer says very nice things about Man Made Boy.
The past year offered such a wealth of incredible literature for young adults it was difficult to name just one book. That fact in no way dampens my enthusiasm in naming Man Made Boy as my best book choice for 2013. I adored Jon Skovron’s novel for its originality and the diversity of its endearing, […]
OMFG, you guys.
If you follow my Tumblr regularly, you know how much I link to io9.com. They are hands down my favorite SF and pop culture blog. And today they reviewed Man Made Boy. Not only did they review it, they LOVED it!
Obviously you NEED to go and read the full review and probably comment and reblog or tweet or whatever you do. But if I may just pull some quotes here so you know why I am having trouble typing this through my real man tears…
This is nice:
“No matter what happens in the book, from the outlandish to the mundane, Boy is the grounded teenage voice at the heart of the book, a deeply believable character. The depth of feeling he experiences when he falls in love, when he tries to ignore how he screwed up, when he fails abjectly, makes it easy to forget that he’s constructed out of dead body parts.”
They pretty much nail it here:
“Skovron seems to be trying to show how taking responsibility for one’s actions is how one becomes an adult. And it’s always great when taking responsibility means saving New York City from certain doom, not to mention lots of hand to hand fighting and some explosions.”
And I think I’ll close with this one:
“If Man Made Boy hasn’t been optioned for a film or at least a CW series by the end of the year, we can be assured that Hollywood has actually forgotten how to read. Because Boy, for all his used parts, is an original.”
So, yeah. I’m a happy guy. Today wins.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books has a nice review of Man Made Boy, with a special shout-out to El Chupacabra that I rather liked. It’s a subscription service so I can’t link directly to the review, but here’s the text:
“Okay, Boy isn’t quite your average teen—he’s a bit larger, and most of his body is stitched together from spare parts—but he’s still got problems like any seventeen–‐year–‐old kid. These problems include mustering up the courage to ask out his crush (who happens to be a troll), dealing with the expectations of his parents (who happen to be Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride), and feeling like an outcast in his own community (which happens to be a theatre troupe made up of fantastical creatures, currently residing in vast caverns underneath Times Square). Spooked when his folks mention sending him off to school in Sweden, Boy takes off on a cross–‐country road trip with a host of other similarly displaced creatures (including the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde), but he’s hunted by VI, a sentient computer virus designed by none other than Boy himself. Suffused with warmth and humor, this homage pokes fun more at the pop–‐culture tropes that have sprung up around Frankenstein than the actual classic work, with the digital version of a creation gone awry a particularly brilliant and contemporary twist. The plot is pieced together in episodic bits as Boy encounters different creatures at each pit stop, and both the various settings and the individual characters provide depth and complexity; the awe and wonder of the Southwestern desert, for example, is on full display here, while the painful loneliness of the Chupacabra, the last of its kind, is equally powerful. More comfortable behind the keyboard than in real life and wondering if he’ll ever fit in anywhere, Boy is a guy to whom plenty of teens will relate, and they’ll be pleased to discover that the big wide world has a place for just about everyone and every monster.”
“Fleeing a claustrophobic life in a New York City theater that shelters mythological monsters from trolls to Medusa herself, Boy—the 17-year-old son of Frankenstein’s monster—seeks self-understanding and an identity in contemporary America. Pursued by Viral Intelligence, or VI, a computer virus Boy created that seeks his love, he finds a traveling companion in Claire/Sophie, the granddaughter of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. Their shared experiences and her revelation of a tortured past lead Boy to evolve from self-pity to compassion in this tumultuous tale of attachment and growth from Skovron (Misfit). The abundance of nonhuman characters and Boy’s search for answers underscore pointed references to yet another literary influence—The Wizard of Oz—and the fiery interactions between Boy and Claire/Sophie keep the tone light. The efforts of Skovron’s hero to fit in with the world, as well as his lack of control over his own life, appeal directly to teenage angst, and Skovron resolves the VI dilemma in a way that suggests a union between creators and that which they create. Ages 12–up.”
Kirkus Reviews says:
How do you circumvent the same, boring fate as your famous monster parents? Run away from home and launch a maniacal computer virus that might possibly annihilate human- and monster-kind. Oops.
Seventeen-year-old Boy’s name is mundane, but his life isn’t. With his celebrity parents (Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride of), he lives among a merry band of monsters and mythical creatures in catacombs beneath Times Square. Under the guise of a theater troupe, they perform a popular creature-feature show, their human audience blissfully unaware that the stage is populated by bona fide trolls, sirens and an egomaniacal gorgon. With their mostly scientific origins, Boy and his parents aren’t fully accepted by the 100-percent myth-and-magic creatures in their commune. So rather than endure segregation—and the life his parents planned for him—Boy runs away. Tech-savvy Boy’s plan to leave his stamp on the world backfires when the computer virus he engineers goes rogue, the troll he loves goes feral and returning home means facing parental wrath. From naiad to minotaur, the straight characters, gay characters, jerks, bitches, buddies and one major diva are fleshed out, not merely relying upon their exteriors for interest. And as Boy’s journey takes him from the tri-state area to the West Coast, each locale rings with well-researched authenticity.
A comically creepy coming-of-age road trip stitched together with action, romance, sex, combat and a couple of bootleg cocktails. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
I especially like that last bit, there.
The review is posted here on their site, but it’s behind a pay wall, so unless you have a subscription, you won’t be able to read it.