Freaks: Alive, on the Inside! by Annette Curtis Klause

Oh Annette Curtis Klause. How I LOVED Blood and Chocolate all through my teenage years–it’s still actually one of my all time favorites. Definitely one of the greatest werewolf books of all time in my opinion. That’s why I was SO disappointed with Freaks: Alive, on the Inside! 

Not only is the title awkward and confusing, the cover is super cheesy. Ok, ok, never judge a book by its cover. I get that. Too bad the inside is just as cheese-tastic as the outside. 9780689870378_p0_v1_s260x420

The story is set in 1899 and follows Abel Dandy, a “normal” 17 year old boy born to circus freak parents. They live and perform in “Faeryland.” (This mislead me into believing he lived in a land of fairies–he doesn’t, it’s a midget town). Abel decides he wants to leave his circus and pursue his knife-throwing act in a bigger show. So after a palm reading from a tiny fortune teller, he sets off.

What he doesn’t realize is that there’s a seedy underbelly to many traveling shows, and a tagalong friend puts both of them in danger. And the “older foreign lady” he is predicted to fall in love with is A LOT older than anticipated.

I get the idea Klause had and the direction she was trying to go. I really enjoyed the Egyptian theme, but I hated Abel’s voice. He was a horny 17 year old boy, but the vernacular sounded like a goody-two-shoes little kid. And the names! Oh my lord. So lame. Besides Abel Dandy, we have: Billy Sweet, Ruby Lightfoot, Willie Northstar, Mr. Bopp, Dr. Mink, Mr. Marvel… The list goes on. If the book was more tongue-in-cheek maybe it would’ve worked better.

I would’ve totally guessed this was Klause’s first novel, not one of her more recent. Skip it.

2 dog-faced boys of 5

About Chelsea McDonald

As an avid reader since I was big enough to hold a book, I continue to enjoy losing myself in the thrall of a good story on a daily basis. Since many of my cohorts do not share the same passion, Cracking Spines will be the perfect outlet to express my adulation or frustration concerning the books that cross my path. In this way, my loyal followers will be able to enjoy the stories that are worthwhile and avoid the duds altogether. I also have a Shelfari account at View all posts by Chelsea McDonald

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