by Jon Skovron
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Love can be a real monster. Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.
Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more. This hilarious, romantic, and wildly imaginative tale redefines what it means to be a monster—and a man.
Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron is a retelling of the classic Frankenstein featuring Frankenstein and the Bride’s son Frank. Skovron introduces a mix of genres in this paranormal romance, from cyberpunk to fantasy. At its heart, it is a coming of age story, with life lessons and first experiences. Mini word review: quirky, intriguing and for the young at heart.
The tale begins beneath the streets of New York City, where we meet Boy, his mother Bride and his father Frankenstein. They live with an extraordinary group of supernatural creatures who run the theater directly above them. There are trolls, werewolves, brownies, ogres and even Medusa herself. They even have a siren that sings nightly. Boy is a computer hacker, who longs to explore the world beyond and after a confrontation with his father he runs away. The tale that unfolds has several interesting threads, a road trip and a lot of firsts for Boy.
Boy is an interesting character, and while I didn’t really connect with him, I was able to appreciate what he was feeling and experiencing. He is quite smart, and his hacking ability is extraordinary. I loved Skovron’s imagination regarding Boy and his computer. We witness him experience love a few times, and all were young adolescent romances. Claire and Sophie were interesting characters, but a lot of the secondary characters tended to be mean. I think Skovron captured the age and mannerisms of the characters well, even if at times they were a little cliché. We have some evil villains, and I wanted more depth from them and a little more angst.
Man Made Boy had moments of greatness and really delivered a solid message to its intended target, but I struggled with all of the threads. Essentially Boy is a runaway, and we travel on his adventure. His desire to be human and accepted often made him a pushover. He had his moments but at times I wanted to shake him. There is insta-love, but not the typical kind instead Boy falls hard for all of the girls he meets. Basically, he is in love with “love” and here the author really captured a realistic portrayal of young love. You remember high school where on Monday, “he was the one” and on Friday, he wasn’t but by Monday another guy was “the one”. Some threads that could have been intense like the program Boy created and the evil characters were for me all resolved too quickly. Despite these issues, this isn’t a bad book, in fact, moments were delightful and exciting. The pacing is fast, and the world building is minimal. If it weren’t for the foul language and some other situations, I would recommend this to boys 9 to 13. I would suggest parents preview it first, but I do think it would engage the reluctant male reader. Shovron has a wonderful imagination, but for me I needed more depth and greater focus on one or two threads.
With its array of supernatural creatures, myths and genres Man Made Boy offered up a unique coming of age story. I personally think it will be a hit with some readers.
Hmm well my favorite unusual paranormal creatures are probably.. fallen angels? I don’t really know, but I just finished reading Hush, Hush and I have angels on the brain!
Angels can be fun, I love when they are warriors battling evil demons.
I like this, its something completely unique. i can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway !!!
Good luck Vanessa 🙂
I love witches & werewolves, even though they’re not unusual. Thanks for the giveaway.
Yes, but I love when authors add twists to them. Good luck!
My favorite unusual paranormal creature is bodaches from the Odd Thomas series. Basically shadow-like creatures that appear before something disasterous/violent is going to happen.
Ooo so if one appears..RUN!!!!! 🙂
Haha! ^_^ Run indeed.
When I first heard about this book I was really excited about, but I’ve been seeing a lot of disappointed reviews so that’s discouraging. Still I’d love to give it a shot and see for myself.
And paranormal creature? I’m a total zombie girl. All the way.
I totally recommend that you do. Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions gave it a 5. For me it just read more like a MG book.
I normally wouldn’t be interested in reading a MG book, but I think it might be a nice change to read something fluffy and simple since I’ve been busy with grad-school textbooks and journal articles for a long time. It’d be kind of like a “break from real reading” book, if that makes sense.
I can understand an adult thinking MG was too young for them. I could never read MG all the time because I usually want substance.
Tabitha the Pabkins
Sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did! I definitely agree that the villain needed to be built up more and the resolution happened rather quick.
Thanks Tabitha, it wasn’t a bad read, I just needed more depth. I am glad you liked it, and as I had said I had a feeling it would appeal to others.
Hmm, I’ve been debating on if I wanted to pick this up…but maybe I’ll hold off for a while. I liked the concept, too bad it didn’t quite live up. Thanks for the review!
Cyn, I think if you like YA coming of age tales with a paranormal twist you would probably enjoy it more than me. It wasn’t bad, it just felt more MG to me.
I just saw this today at the bookstore and I almost got it. I think the premise sounds really interesting. I would definitely give this one a try.
I would love to hear your thoughts if you do, it wasn’t bad, just read to young for me 🙂
I didn’t realize that this book was for a much younger age group. It still sounds cute though.
It is targeted as YA, but I think it would work more as an MG, but then again I am not real big on contemporary YA’s unless they a raw and gritty.
Hmm, definitely an interesting premise, though too bad to hear it wasn’t the greatest.
For the right audience I think it was a decent read..i just needed more.
I’m sad to hear that this wasn’t all that great, I thought it was going to be really good. But I do have a son that is in the age group you mentioned, might try it with him. 🙂
I think he would love it, it wasn’t bad I just needed more if you know what I mean 🙂
Thank you for the review. I do think it’s worth checking out. And as for paranormal creature, I cannot think of an unusual one.
Glad you want to try it, and it wasn’t a bad read, I just personally needed more. Good luck!
The title gave it away. I knew Frankenstein was involved somehow and cracked me up. I’m not sure if the story is for me, but I do love the idea. 🙂
I liked all the creatures, but it just had an MG feel and depth.
Braine Talk Supe
Interesting concept and very Pinocchio, I think this was maybe too MG for you?
A Voracious Reader
I’m thinking I’ll give this one a whirl. 🙂
I am glad and would love to hear your thoughts 🙂
Ya know I’d been seeing this one around but never looked at the blurb for it so I had no idea what it was about now I’m kind of upset with myself. Sounds like something to look into borrowing.
–Kimberly @ Turning the Pages
It is worth a try, it wasn’t a bad read, just not for me.
For some reason I didn’t realize what this was about. It sounds like a unique premise. I know what you mean about you just not really being the right audience, I felt the same with the books I reviewed today.
thanks Candace, I really think young teen boys would enjoy this.
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Sounds like a promising premise with too little development…
Agreed, it reads more like an MG with curse words to be honest.
I can’t think of a favorite unusual paranormal creature. I’m just a vampire girl to the core. 🙂
This book sounds really cute! I think I might like it, even if it’s for a younger crowd.
I think it will appeal to some peeps, if you like YA contemporaries then give it a go. I would love to hear your thought on it Angie 🙂
This is still sitting in my maybe pile and it doesn’t sound as if I’ll be moving it up.
I struggle when the characters are young and if this had been horror I might have enjoyed it more. I tend to shy away from contemporary YA, and while this has paranormal elements it really is a coming of age tale.
I’m the same; I prefer my YA to be fantasy of some sort. If it’s primarily a coming of age story then it probably won’t hold my interest.
My favorite is ghosts.
ghosts are cool Amy, my favorite ghost resides in the Bone Island Trilogy by Heather Graham and his name is Bartholomew.
My fave paranormal creatures are spirits or ghosts. Werewolves and vampires.
I am partial to weres and vampires as well, but honestly I love them all 🙂
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
I am reading this one really soon! I’m really nervous about whether I’ll like this or not, seems like I should but like you mentioned, the MC was a little hard to relate to.
Lovely review! <33
He was for me, but like I said I think some peeps will love this, so give it a go! I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
The blurb really caught my attention but too bad it wasn’t that great. I need to connect to my protags to enjoy a story.
Agreed Jen, and he was just too young for me to do so.
Oh boo, it sounds so cool! Frankenstein and everything
It had its moments and Frank and the Bride were interesting as secondary characters.
Oh no! I am so sad to read this review. For some reason I really had high hopes for this one based on the premises but I had a feeling based on reviews on Goodreads that it just might not live up to my expectations. Darn it!
It wasn’t horrible Ali, I am just too old for it..LOL
I hear ya. I was just hoping it would be more my kind of read. If you say you are too old for it then I am sure I will be as well. 😉 Oh well! I still love the sound of it.