Freaks: Alive, On the Inside!
Abel Dandy grew up in the circus as the child of, well, freaks, but he's perfectly normal- a mixed blessing. On one hand, the other circus performers are there because they couldn't get along in the outside world. Abel, on the other hand, has never had a chance to make it anywhere else, and his lack of oddities makes it clear that he will not make it in the circus, either.
I decided to read this book for absolutely no other reason than that I liked the cover- not the one for the hardcover (which is rather ugly) but the one for the paperback, which is drawn in an almost manga- like style and features Abel accompanied by the strange woman of whom he dreams. It also has one of the better first lines I've ever read. That line, "When a boy's first romantic interlude is with Phoebe the Dog-Faced Girl, he feels a need to get out into the world and find a new life," basically sums up the book for me- we get that, for Abel, an ugly freak girl is the same as any ugly girl, but we know that she is not and feel bad for her.
When I told a friend I was reading this book, she looked at me and said, "Good Lord, is that as offensive as it sounds?" and I do have to say that the conjoined twins and the giants and the dwarves in this book are all played for laughs.
Conclusion: Very good book, as always from Annette Curtis Klause, at least in my experience. Definitely a new favourite, and going onto my recommend list.
*Reprinted with author's permission from http://lainahastoomuchsparetime.blogspot.com/
Abel Dandy is the proud son of a legless man and armless woman, who, by the way, make a great stage act by riding a bicycle in the Faeryland Human Oddities Show. Unfortunately for Abel, he doesn't fit in.
Abel was born "normal." He learns to throw knives, but that doesn't cut it. Afraid he's going to be hounded into a relationship with the dog girl, Abel runs away to seek his fortune.
Along the way, he faces abnormal adversity, meets a myriad of misfits and meanies, and has his heart stolen by the most unlikely of mistresses.
Abel adeptly plays the hero throughout in this adventurous, not-your-run-of-the-mill, coming of age novel.