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Stranger Things Have Happened

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  47 reviews
At 15, Marcus Millian III, the great-grandson of the famous Zachary the Stupendous, is already a talented illusionist. But when Marcus chokes during a card trick and leaves the audience unimpressed, prideful Zachary promises that he and Marcus are working on an illusion that will shock, stun, and astonish. That night, Zachary dies in his sleep.

To uphold the honor of Marcus
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  174 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Jan 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately I wasn't a fan of this one. While the concept and idea was fun, I felt like the story fell flat. It was weird and not in a good way. The plot didn't flow well and nothing happened that made sense. I felt like the dialogue flowed unnaturally and the main character, 15, was written much younger than he was meant to be. The whole thing seemed to juvenile for it's target audience, although perhaps I am misunderstanding this. That being said the magic tricks were fun to explore and I wo ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For this magic trick Jeff Strand is gonna turn a YA book into a book that any adult will enjoy too!

This just might be my favorite Jeff Strand YA Novel
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
3.5 stars
Stranger Things Have Happened wears its name very nicely... this was a strange little story, that I rather enjoyed.
Mika Reyes
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
See full review on

This story contains oppressive themes like bullying, death, and murder or threats. Although these are expressed in a very light manner, I think people who go to review sites need to know about this to be warned of theses unwanted triggers.

At first, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this book because I’m not a huge fan of magic but I did because the author is freaking talented and has successfully put everything together perfectly! This book is
Elisheva Rina
May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
One star for each time I laughed while reading this book (twice). Every single character behaves the same way! They ramble about random things at the most inappropriate times! Which is supposed to be funny, but it's not funny if every person seems to be brain damaged in the same way. Ex: Bully: "I'm going to beat you up... Wait, you can do magic tricks! Show me more!" Antagonist: "I am going to kill you. Aren't I evil? Do you think I'm evil? What does evil mean, anyway?" Protagonist: "I wish I c ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: autographed, humor
If you are preoccupied with categories and labels. Jeff Strand is hard to pin down since he has written in many genres. Yet there is one label that fits practically everything he has written. Humorist. His humor and wit are evident in practically everything he has released and even more so in his most recent books. At the present, he seems to be writing mostly in the Young Adult market and his novels all feature young teenagers struggling with the normal challenges of adolescence in unusual ways ...more
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book.

As with all of Jeff Strand's books, I like this one. He has a crazy good way of writing snappy dialogue that begs to be read out loud. His books are also very good for reluctant readers. Be ready to giggle and get some feels. I also have to say, his books would make great movies!!! Super fun!
Wayne Fenlon
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this while choked with the cold. It cheered me up no end.
Jarrod Scarbrough
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, audio
I admit that I'm a sucker for fun, quirky YA fiction from time to time. Stranger Things Have Happened fit that bill for me this week! If you enjoy magicians, evil villains, don't be teenagers, geeky teen romance, sharks, card tricks, and whitty banter, then run, don't walk to the nearest Kindle or Audible device (or bookstore if you are into tree murder) and get this book. Go on, you know you wanna... ...more
Ashrith  Rao
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I sort of liked this book because at some points it was boring but some times it was very exciting and sometimes suspenseful. I think that there are two themes in this book. One theme is that bin life there are always going too be obstacles. The other them is that sometimes it is good to have someone doubting you cause it may push you to work harder and try to prove them wrong.
Drew Marbut
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny book with good characters.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
"Stranger Things Have Happened" is a light-hearted book with some very heavy themes. Marcus is a 15-year-old high school freshman, destined for greatness- if only not for his stage fright. His great-grandfather Zachary the Stupendous has been grooming him to follow his steps as a master magician/illusionist since he was a year old. At a charity event, Zachary volunteers Marcus to perform a trick, and he does a card trick that wows the audience. Afterwards, a competing old magician (Bernard) says ...more
Kyle Feuerbach
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Jeff Strand and his work (Very biased). This is another example of a very fun ride written by him. His stories tend to be a bit far fetched, but that is the point! This story was, like so many of his others, witty, fast paced, and a good time. As always, I really enjoyed my time reading Jeff Strand's Stranger Things Have Happened! ...more
Abby Boogie
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is not a book for people who like logic and details that make stories seem somewhat logical. The my brain kept screaming things like, "You can't just glue together a shark tank from scrap glass!" and "Why is no one making sure the water is salted so the shark doesn't die?" and it honestly ruined the book a bit. The parts I wanted to know more details about were totally glossed over, but then there would be tons of detail about random interactions with grumpy extraneous characters. This made ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm really torn between 3 and 4 stars. I went with 4 because I laughed out loud so many times. The story itself was really ridiculous. There was no way any of it would happen, but the way it's written just puts a smile on your face. ...more
Marcus Millian the III has been practicing all of his 15 years of life to be a magician. He longs to take after his Great Grandpa Zachary who gained fame as Zachary the Stupendous. However, he has a few problems…including his severe stage fright. He once threw up in elementary school when he had to give an oral book report.

Yet Great Grandpa Zachary has always encouraged Marcus to keep practicing his tricks. He’s so proud of Marcus that when he runs into his old nemesis, Bernard Pinther, Great Gr
Raygun ∆ Gothic
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Let me assure you: if you assumed no one would be attacked by a shark in this book, have I got some news for you, my friends...

This book is almost too funny. My brain wasn't able to recover from one gag fast enough to deal with a new gag. I had to stop myself from writing down everything and just enjoy it. It's like an 8-hour comedy sketch. But then it sucker punches you right in chapter 3.

Though technically a ya book, it reads as if aimed at a specifically middle school aged kn
Shannon Everyday
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stranger Things Have Happened is a sweet, fun, heartfelt story about Marcus, who wants to be a Magician, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Zachary. During a fundraiser, Marcus gets pressed into going onto stage to perform a magic trick. Afterwards, an old rival of Zachary's, says that Marcus will never be a great magician, leading Zachary to make a bet that Marcuse will perform an astounding illusion. The book follows Marcus as he tries to come up and create his magic trick, an ...more
Bob S.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is meant to be a YA book, I’m more so a OA. But there is a part of my brain that still enjoys YA books. So I’m reviewing from that perspective.

First off, Many of the characters use similarly sarcastic dialog. Not that I don’t enjoy the repartee between characters, I just believe each character should have its own personality. The only character with a truly unique personality is Marcus’ overly concerned loving mom. Maybe the Dad too but he had maybe only two lines. Further, some o
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great grandpa Zachary was once the legendary Zachary the Stupendous. He has been teaching Marcus magic tricks all his life. At one fundraiser, a bet between Grandpa Zachary and his arch enemy Bernard Pinther was made. It was for Marcus to amaze the theater audience with a spectacular magic trick.
Honor was on the line. The problem was Marcus had 8 weeks to find or create this great event without the help of great grandpa since he died in his sleep a few days after the bet was made.
Carla A
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-school
There is a lot of wait what? randomness in this title. Especially Sinister Seamus. I will not disagree with any of the negative comments because most of what they say is true but they were not deal breakers for me, because well witch mask wearing crime fighting gone so so wrong and the afore mentioned Sinister Seamus.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful middle-grade book to read. I adored how hilarious it was. I literally laugh out loud a few times. I would recommend it. Especially if you want to read or listen to a book as a family.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Either you get it, or you don't. I thought it was hysterical, middle school boy humor at its best! I will definitely be booktalking this on Monday!! If you didn't like it, I'm not sure we can be friends any more :) ...more
Sean Randall
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Despite being focused on kids, I'm not sure how my daughter would feel about reading this one. I quite enjoyed it, but maybe knowing the depravities Strand's mind is capable of have added a sense of caution to my reading. ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting, and funny read. I wish there had been more magic involved. Overall I enjoyed it. I received an ebook copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great YA book from Jeff Strand!
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemperary
Great. The type of jokes was like me in writing. Reading this book makes me want to read the rest of Jeff Strand's books. Maybe I will... ...more
Allison Hackenmiller
Super cheesy, along the lines of Series of Unfortunate Events. It would take a special kid to enjoy the camp of this one.
Ashley Horton
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Fairly eccentric & whimsical sometimes a bit much but the characters were interesting & the story was original.
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Author of a bunch of demented books, including PRESSURE, DWELLER, A BAD DAY FOR VOODOO, WOLF HUNT, SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME, BENJAMIN'S PARASITE, FANGBOY, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE, and lots of others. Four-time Bram Stoker Award finalist. Four-time Bram Stoker Award loser. Ten-time Bram Stoker Award Master of Ceremonies. ...more

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