2022 Book Review: Meddling Kids

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

A Horror, 2017 by Doubleday Books, 322 Pages

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The random screenplay sections did not work for me. They didn’t work on audiobook and they didn’t work in print when I grabbed a copy to see if that would be better. I don’t understand what they were supposed to add to the story. 
  • Telling instead of showing. There’s a lot of telling you what happened, telling you what they saw, and telling you what they felt. I wanted to feel scared with them, but I just never did. It made the story very flat. 
  • Toward the end of the story a side character and the narrator started randomly referring to these adults as “teenage detectives” or “kids”. The opposite would’ve made more sense … if the character perceived they WERE kids/teens but matured as the case went on. It was weird that the book seemed to try and insinuate being involved in the solving of a major crime like this somehow aged them down in the eyes of the side character. 
  • Why are we personifying one character’s hair? It was weird and I didn’t understand what that added to the story. I assume it was an attempt to show us emotion but I typically don’t show emotion with my hair. 

What I Did Like:

  • I did like the idea of this story. Taking a grown up version of the particular gang of “meddling kids” we all grew up with and following them into adulthood is a great concept. I even liked opening on a scene with a guy they once caught getting out on parole. I wanted to love this book because of the idea alone. 
  • It didn’t borrow character traits, names, or appearances from the original gang. That’s important in helping the reader remember that although this was inspired by the original, it’s something all its own. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Oh man, I don’t know anymore. Normally I’d say if you loved Scooby Doo, enjoy a dark sort of horror, and like when authors try out unusual techniques you’d be the audience for this one. Except I’m all those things and I wavered between bored and frustrated. Still, if you think you fit that audience, give this one a read and report back. 

My Rating: 2 Stars. 

  • I just didn’t connect with it and that was problematic. 

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