Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review: A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie by Matt Blackstone

A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie by Matt Blackstone

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (July 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0374364214
ISBN-13: 978-0374364212
Source: Provided by Teen Book Scene
Cover: It's definitely boy friendly which I like and has a lot to do with the novel. It doesn't scream at me but I feel like a guy could pick it up and not feel like a schmuck lugging it around.
First Sentence: "Legs are my favorite part."

Mini-ReviewAn offbeat and honest look at one boy's journey from an OCD striken loner to his own person.

Book Summary:
Rene, an obsessive-compulsive fourteen year old, smells his hands and wears a Batman cape when he’s nervous. If he picks up a face-down coin, moves a muscle when the time adds up to thirteen (7:42 is bad luck because 7 + 4 + 2 = 13), or washes his body parts in the wrong order, Rene or someone close to him will break a bone, contract a deadly virus, and/or die a slow and painful death like someone in a scary scene in scary movie. Rene’s new and only friend tutors him in the art of playing it cool, but that’s not as easy as Gio makes it sound.
Book Review:

A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie takes a cold hard look at the parts of people that most novels don't show you. There is always a Renee in your class-- the boy that's a little off, super obsessed with comics/videogames and doesn't really know how to respond in social situations. In Blackstone's debut novel for teens, he takes a close look at what it really means to be unique.

Renee has one of those voice that is unforgettable because of it's unique humor and because he sees the world in a completely different way. There were so many times when I would snort out loud, share lines with my co-workers or marvel at little things I hadn't noticed in years because it meant something to him. Coming from a less than stellar background, he has to work hard to feel normal when his own father never let him forget that he wasn't. His OCD shows up in most aspects of his life-- he sniffs his hands, washes them refusely, has to eat a certain kind of cereal, and won't step on cracks (lest he break his mother's back). As a reader, it felt so good to see how Renee was able to grow and exerpience things he wouldn't normally allow himself to. It was also so rewarding when things went right for him and when he stood up for himself.

The background characters were just a unique as the leading. It takes an odd cast to make Renee come out of his shell but it really feels rewarding when they all can learn from each other. The writing was really interesting in this novel because it wasn't the normal guy voice. Renee was vastly different. Entire paragraphs would be pasted in certain parts of the novel because of Renee's OCD and served their purpose well.

While reading, I kept wondering where this novel could possibly go. I was rooting for Renee from page one and had no idea how he was going to get out of his rut. I wish it would have moved along a little bit quicker. I didn't know where it was going and by the middle of the novel, the plot felt like it was floundering a bit.

Because of it's vastly unique nature, I'm not sure this is a book for everyone. At it's heart, this is an issue book and sometimes they are a bit hard to get through. I wish the plot would have come out a little quicker but the unqiue cast of characters and extreme chararacter progress helped curve that. Blackstone was able to create a novel with an equal amount of honesty and humor. If you can stomach the incredibly odd and oh-so-gross boyish humor, A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie is definitely worth a readthrough!


Thanks to Teen Book Scene:


  1. Oh, thanks for reviewing this! I never would have heard of it otherwise. I also appreciate that it's not just geared toward females.
    Just a note though! "Renee has one of those voice that is unforgettable because of it's unique humor"/"Because of it's vastly unique nature," uses the wrong form of its. Perhaps a typo, but it doesn't hurt to point it out. :)

  2. Great review! Such a unique book. I'm on the tour too, so I won't say much. I definitely found a lot of laugh out loud humor in it as well having to read out loud to my husband to share some of the funny parts, too.


  3. Some of the reviews on the scene described for a Scary Movie.


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