Monday, November 01, 2010

Review: The Dead Boys

The Dead Boys
Royce Buckingham

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: September 2010

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 208

Author Site:

My Rating: 4/5

Source: Received for review from Planned Television Arts


In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.

From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland- every kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree's world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .


I haven't read many middle-grade novels and I know I've never read any novels featuring killer trees... Honestly, I stray away from the younger side of the YA genre. I probably shouldn't say no to a particular group of books anymore because most of the time I enjoy the ones I normally think I wouldn't. But I digress... I quickly gobbled up The Dead Boys. It was tough to put the book down to be quite honest. I just had to know what happened to Teddy and all those...well, dead boys!

As the synopsis reads, shortly after moving to Richland, Washington Teddy starts to meet all these boys around town. And they do indeed disappear before his eyes. Of course, it freaks the poor kid out but he's determined to find out what's going on. As Teddy starts to piece things together he finds out that the gigantic, scary tree next door has something to do with all of the boys' disappearances. Targeted as the tree's next victim, Teddy is sucked into the dim and distorted world of the tree and has to fight for his life and those of the missing boys.

Teddy is portrayed as a wimpy character who can be called shy, timid, a loner even... but I suppose trying to figure out a creepy mystery and trying to stay alive at the same time will change one's character a bit. Teddy definitely grew on me, not that I didn't like him in the beginning mind you. But I definitely didn't want the tree to kill him and he's actually a pretty brave and loyal kid. You'll see why because you're going to want to read this one. I liked the unique element of the tree! I liked the creepiness of the story, I mean it didn't scare me where I had to stop reading it but I definitely got some chills! And the story overall sucked me in! I love books that do that, as I'm sure most readers do.

This is also my first experience with the author's writing. I enjoyed the simplicity and flow of the writing. It wasn't bogged down with heavy details or over-the-top descriptions. The author was able to successfully pull me into Teddy's world and I could easily "see"  a lot of the scenes in my head. It was a lot of fun reading The Dead Boys and I'm looking forward to more of Royce's work.


Blodeuedd said...

Killer trees..ok that it a first, but the premise of them does sound cool. I admit that

Ammy Belle said...

What an interesting concept! I like the way this is shaping up and cannot wait to get my hands on it! I love new types of paranormal! Way to go! :D

❤Stephanie! said...

It sound really good! Thanks for the review :)


Meghan said...

hmmm...I think I might like this book. Seems like my style.

Vivien said...

This book looks great. I love the cover!

Susie said...

This sounds interesting.Thanks.

Beth Sanzo said...

well written review, the book sounds good.

Stephmartin71 said...

Stupid me, I posted this comment in the wrong place ...
Thanks for the chance to win. I've never heard of this book or author and it sounds like it will be interesting. Your blog is becomming a favorite to me ;)

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I know that I have some 7th grade boys (well girls too) that are always looking for a creepy book and would like this one. They'll like the simple writin style too.

donnas said...

Great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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