When Sourcebooks e-mailed me about writing a review as part of their blog tour, I immediately said yes, because this book sounded hilarious. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed.
Book: A Bad Day For Voodoo by Jeff Strand (Published June 5, 2012 by Sourcebooks)
Summary: After a voodoo doll fiasco involving the death of their history teacher, Tyler’s best friend, Adam, panics and has a voodoo doll of Tyler made to ensure that Tyler won’t turn Adam in to the police. Once his panic subsides, the two friends, along with Tyler’s girlfriend, set off to have the voodoo doll stripped of its power. But their car is hijacked with the doll inside and it is going to turn out to be a very, very bad day (for Voodoo and otherwise). They won’t get out in one piece, but they might make it out alive.
Characters: The narrator, Tyler, is hilarious. He tells this crazy, ridiculous story in a very understated way, which constantly made me laugh. For example, after his teacher’s leg shoots off (and across the room), another teacher comes in to see what the commotion is about. Tyler comments: “He didn’t think we were overreacting.” This is my favorite kind of humor, so I loved experiencing the novel through Tyler’s eyes. The other characters were over-the-top in a very fun way (think Stephanie Plum–Grandma Mazur and Lula). If they weren’t quite real, they were consistent and created a world that was fun to lose myself in.
Plot/Pacing: A Bad Day for Voodoo is a quick read that had me laughing the whole way through. While a lot of crazy (Crazy!) things happened, there was always the driving need for Tyler to recover the doll and bring it back to the shop where Adam purchased it, so the story never felt episodic. I also loved that the author played with the idea of story-telling, pointing out literary devices and commenting on structure within the narrative.
Moments I Loved: Chapter 28, the climax of the story, is non-traditional and unexpected. I won’t ruin it for you, but the author pulls it off perfectly and I loved it. If I tried to explain it, it would sound like it wouldn’t work, but it does and I honestly can’t think of a better way to tell that part of the story.
WTF Moments: At Adam’s insistence, Tyler pokes the Mr. Click Voodoo doll in the leg and… his entire leg shoots off across the room. I had read about this scene in the original e-mail from the publisher, but had forgotten about it by the time I read the book and it was so unexpected that I had to put the book down so I could finish laughing.
It’s worth nothing that this entire book is a string of ridiculously hilarious WTF moments.
Overall: Jeff Strand perfectly hit every comic beat using a kind of humor that can be bad on an epic scale if not done well. This book is hilarious and I can’t wait to read more from the author. This is dark comedy at its best.
|AND A HALF!!!|