Daphne by Josh Malerman
Malerman has got to be one of the most uneven authors working in genre right now. At least, that’s’ been my experience with reading him and I’ve read just about all he’s ever written.
The man peaked with Inspection and Mad Black Wheel and steadily though variedly disappointed with most of the rest.
Thing is, I like his writing enough to just download his books off of Netgalley on name recognition alone, but now it’ll have to change. I’m gonna have to actually read the plot summaries. Because had I read the plot summary for this one, I wouldn’t have been so put off by being stuck with a YA book about basketball playing teens with anxiety.
And so, Daphne might be the Malerman’s most disappointing one yet.
Sure, it’s great that he gets to write about things he loves (basketball) and things he lives with (anxiety), but that just isn’t enough for a good book. And also, WHY THE F isn’t there a YA label on it? Because one can make more money by peddling it as a coming-of-age story, that’s why.
That’s also cheating. For this book, anyway. I’ve read plenty of coming-of-age stories perfectly geared for adult audiences. This one is geared for kids. Kids like the kids in the book, a bunch of fourteen-year-olds.
The structure of the book the writing, the short sentences and simple logistics, the angst and overall tone – it’s all YA. As in strategically dumbed down for undercooked minds.
Oh yeah, here’s the plot…a bunch of basketball loving kids or ballers in a small town are dealing with the possibility of an urban legend of Daphne (a seven-foot-tall denim clad local weirdo) coming to life to take her revenge. Is it something spooky and supernatural or a serial killer sort of thing? Well, read and find out. The book is, at least, short and because it’s YA, it’s easy and quick to read. Should you read it though? That’s another question altogether.
This one appears to have gathered quite a lot of good reviews on GR so far, so mine is a minority opinion, but there it is. You’ve been warned, readers. Thanks Netgalley.
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