I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock Holmes. The original or the BBC adaptation. I am merely using the character and characters from the series to illustrate just how stupid Buzz Kill is.
Sherlock: Bored. Bored. Bored.
Watson (Rolls eyes): Don’t start shooting things.
Sherlock: Well, what am I supposed to do? There’s nothing interesting to do around here. All the cases we’ve gotten lately have been so typical. Five second solvers. I need something new. Something challenging.
Watson: Well, we did get a particular interesting email this morning wondering just why YA mysteries suck and have killed Nancy Drew.
Sherlock: Are you serious? The teenage detective dead. This could be interesting.
Watson: Well, yeah. Want to take a shot at it?
Sherlock: I guess since there’s nothing else interesting to do….do you have a YA mystery for me to dissect.
Watson: Actually, I do. Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey
Sherlock reads book.
And now, the real mystery can be explored. What book would make Sherlock Holmes go insane.
That would be Buzz Kill.
Or really, to be honest, a lot of these YA mysteries that are out there these days. I don’t get it, this concept should be fairly easy to execute. Several people have executed it properly before, but now it just seems that YA is killing any love I have for contemporary mysteries.
Buzz Kill though, it probably has to be one of the worst ones that I have had the displeasure of reading. Oh, yeah, Killing Ruby Rose was bad. But I’ll give that one some slack because at least there was an attempt to sort of flesh out the characters. Sort of being the objective word. I think with this particular novel, Fantaskey just thought having a character with the dimensions of a bad kiddie cartoon character was perfectly fine.
It’s not funny. It’s not amusing. It’s just annoying.
I really couldn’t stand Millie. While she was supposed to be this kick ass reporter she came off more or less like a spoiled child that had to get her way all the time. She was annoying. And just plain stupid. And was a slut slammer. Nancy Drew would not be impressed.
While I’m sure she solved the crime (though I didn’t find out since I gave up on the book) she should’ve been dead at least five times since the book started. She was just moronic and I couldn’t figure out how she had a social life, let alone was fairly popular at her school.
Her love interest was just as big as a dweeb. I’m sorry, I get that Fantaskey was trying to give Lover Boy a troubled past, but having him hit people with his car while he was drunk and high on drugs. No. Just no. I get that people make mistakes, but unless the story was done really well (which is wasn’t here) that’s going to give me ick vibes for personal reasons. Plus, he seemed to get off ridiculously easy too.
The mystery itself was just as cartoonish and handled in a manner that I’m sure the most idiotic cop would be raising his eyebrow at.
And for that matter, I could care less about it.
Mysteries are suppose to have something about them that draws you in. Something of interests. For example, when I was a kid I read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark novels. Say what you will about Clark’s writing style, but the mysteries were always intriguing-at least in her earlier work. It didn’t matter if the victim was likable or not, if the protagonist had any hint of investigative skills, the mystery part of the novel kept you interested till the last page.
All I know is the coach was missing for a week before Millie found his stinky body.
Even the book trailer for this novel shows has a half ass feeling to it.
And this actually makes me sad. Despite what people may think, I don’t like to give low ratings for books. I actually paid eighteen dollars for this book. I wanted it to be good. At this point though, I’m planning on making a detour tomorrow night or Tuesday so that I can get my money back. It was that bad.
Even if I could get past the poorly crafted mystery, and the cardboard characters, I’d still have to deal with the format of this book. There was just something off about the writing. The chapter structure, for example, was just choppy. Sometimes a chapter would be less than a half page long and there was no reason for it to be that short.
I almost feel like the manatees on Family Guy wrote this book. Seriously, it was as if Fantanskey was (forgive the awful pun) a few buzz words and made a story out of it.
Regardless, I’m not buying any more YA mystery contemporaries for awhile. If I decide to read them it will be where my wallet isn’t taking a hit-i.e. the library or if I’m fortunate enough an ARC. And even then, I think I’m going to have to check out some of my friends reviews before I bite the bullet.
F for fuck you book.