Of course, all 3 volumes of Untold Tales were incredible! Each volume brings the reader right back into the devastated world created in As the World D...moreOf course, all 3 volumes of Untold Tales were incredible! Each volume brings the reader right back into the devastated world created in As the World Dies. These tales not only shed light on some of the past and personalities of some of the characters we’ve gotten to know throughout this series, but are also brief snapshots of a world in complete chaos. The imagery created in Frater’s writing never fails to put a clear picture (often disturbing) in my mind of what the world looks like as well as the emotion of the character. Each short story is given just as much attention, detail, and priority as every one of her full length novels.
I can’t recommend these and the entire series enough for fans of this genre. I mean this is the epitome of zombie fiction, it simply doesn’t get much better than this. From terrifying and bloody scenes of zombie carnage, to inspiring stories of survival against all odds, to heartbreaking scenes of love and sacrifice, this series has it all and more. I can’t think of anything more I could ask from this series but then she goes beyond even that and adds these Untold Tales that answer questions I never even thought to ask and provides even more insight into this world and the people in it. I’m telling you, if you like being scared, this is an author you don’t want to miss.
The Untold Tales Volume 1 will give you an idea of what to expect if you haven’t already read The First Days, but I suggest that you read the rest of the series before reading Volumes 2 and 3 so that you understand certain references and are not spoiled on anything.(less)
Sixteen year old Gerald Faust has grown up with the social stigma of having been featured on a reality TV show when he was a 5 year old child. Network...moreSixteen year old Gerald Faust has grown up with the social stigma of having been featured on a reality TV show when he was a 5 year old child. Network Nanny, a show similar to Supernanny, swooped in to try to “fix” the problem children but failed to address the real problems, a violent psychotic sister and an emotionally detached mother leaving a very resentful 5 year old who acted out in the only way he knew how. His outrageous behavior made him somewhat of a local celebrity, although Gerald didn’t see this as something to have been proud of. The combination of his embarrassment about those things shown on Network Nanny and his anger, hurt, and resentment about what he has to deal with in his crazy dysfunctional home has made Gerald an extremely volatile kid. The coping skills he has acquired, some on his own and some through his Anger Management sessions, keeps his violent outbursts in check but also makes him very socially awkward.
The first thing I have to praise about Reality Boy was the authenticity of the characters. The author goes to some dark places and pokes and prods so that the reader can understand the feeling and motivation behind each of her characters actions. I felt for Gerald and spent most of the book furious with his negligent parents, reality TV, and a world where things like this go unnoticed or unremarked upon. Gerald’s inner dialog, while sometimes extremely odd, allowed me to connect with him and understand his inner turmoil, his self-doubt, and his rage.
The romance was understated and thankfully not the focal point of the book. It felt genuine and I enjoyed Hannah almost as much as I liked Gerald. Hannah had her own emotional baggage which seemed to sometimes clash with Gerald’s and at other times, be a perfect fit. I loved how quirky they both were and how these quirks seemed to forge a bond between them. It was very nicely done.
There isn’t much negative to say about Reality Boy. I enjoyed reading this much more than I was expecting to having never read anything by this author previously. The only flaws I can think of may be that some parts tended to be a bit repetitive and the story maybe lagged a bit here and there. However, these issues are minor compared to how fascinating and original I found this story to be. I was completely drawn in and invested in Gerald’s story.
I would absolutely recommend Reality Boy to fans of contemporary YA. This book has heart, spirit, and originality. I look forward to reading more of this author’s books!