Featured Review: Clown in a Cornfield (Adam Cesare)
About This Book:
In Adam Cesare’s terrifying young adult debut, Quinn Maybrook finds herself caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress—that just may cost her life.
Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half.
On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
*Review Contributed by Samantha Randolph, Staff Reviewer*
When Quinn and her father move to a tiny town, she's hoping to fit in and finish high school. Kettle Springs doesn't seem to be too bad, except for the weird clown mascot, Frendo, and a few of the adult townspeople who are more than a little judgmental. Then, Frendo starts getting homicidal and as the bodies pile up, Quinn isn't sure if she and her friends will last another night.
CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD is fun slasher horror. Quinn is easily relatable as the new person in a small town, and the Frendo creep factor is definitely at it's highest point through her eyes as opposed to someone who grew up in the town. The heart of the story isn't a murderous clown, however. It's the generational divide between the adults and teens/kids. Millennial and Gen Z readers will recognize the dialogue around the issues of conflict like technology, values, and perspective of the past (whether it was great or whether it had many faults). But this time, the conflict gets deadly.
While I enjoyed the story, I had a hard time really connecting with the characters. Many felt relatable but lacked as much depth as I wanted. This made it difficult to fully invest in their journey. The theme of generational divide, while a nice center point amidst the horror, was a bit overkill (pardon the pun) and further distanced me from the narrative.
Overall, this was an enjoyable horror read with social themes.
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