Saturday, January 14, 2012

GN Review -- My Boyfriend Is a Monster: Made for Each Other / Paul D. Storrie and Eldon Cowgur

Sometimes the old aphorism holds true: the perfect boyfriend is not born, but made. At least, that’s the premise of Made for Each Other.

The second book in the My Boyfriend Is a Monster series is another cutely drawn, style over substance story in the teen romance and adventure genre, with a touch of the supernatural added for extra appeal. It’s a fairly shrewd move, given the current market for paranormal literature, which is particularly dominant in Young Adult literature. But given the plot of this story, it’s easy to see the dangers of flooding the markets with too much of the same kind of product.

The story centers around Maria McBride, a sophomore at Seward High School, who is something of a shrinking violet, and her growing attraction to Tom Stone, a new student who turns out to a modern-day, teenage-looking Frankenstein’s monster. Despite this gruesome-sounding origin, Tom is a strapping, good-looking, articulate young man, who is polite and smart, and who seems rather taken with Maria. When it turns out his father is the original Frankenstein’s monster, who uses his funeral home business as a front to create others like them, complications of course ensue.

At first it seems Dr. Stone’s business and “family” are keeping Tom away from Maria at every possible opportunity. Then, some of the newly created family members start causing problems, for both the new couple and the community at large. Add to that some in-fighting between the family members, and soon situations develop requiring Maria to rescue Tom from his deranged clan, and vice versa at times.

While I’m not a particular fan of romances, I don’t really have anything against them either. This story, however, had a couple of problems with it. Whereas the first story in this series, I Love Him to Pieces, moved along at a fairly brisk clip, this one feels very slow and drags in quite a few places. The characters featured are too numerous for the relatively short length of the story, and do little at times other than clog the plot and take away from the story of the main characters. By the time we actually see the grand reveal of Dr. Franklin Stone / Frankenstein’s monster, you’re just hoping he’ll find a way to end the story quickly.

The artwork was okay, very similar in cartoony yet expressive style to I Love Him to Pieces. The use of black space in this story feels much more overwrought here, however, making the whole piece feel darker overall (pun only partially intended). It would work if the story were a little more interesting, but unfortunately seems to weight down the narrative even further.

It does a good enough job for what it is, but doesn’t have the same appeal as the first one did, for me. The characters are cute, the plot, while flawed, does involve the struggle to preserve the characters’ new romance. It should appeal to those looking to get a quick fix of paranormal teen romance, but will probably have limited appeal to most other readers. Recommended, with reservations.

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