I haven’t posted any reviews for a while. I keep meaning to do it but my good intentions are constantly being battered by my to-do-list. Today, however, I’ll make an exception with I Was a Teenage Weredeer.
Before we get to the book, what’s it about?
Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her eighteenth birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.
Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend’s sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.
Thankfully, she’s game.
I Was a Teenage Weredeer is a fun read – snarky and sarcastic with a (vaguely) serious undercurrent.
The basic premise is of vampires, shape shifters and other supernatural beings now living in the open along side normal humans. They, as we do, have their own factions, prejudices, hierarchies, infighting and quarrels.
This story is told from the perspective of a young woman/ deer (Check out the title of the book if that confuses you.) as she struggles to resolve one bloody bout of vengeance.
The world within a world is not a new idea but it’s well done here and the authors do a nice job of were-dovetailing them into our world.
(See what I did there? You did. Right. I’ll get my coat…)
The text is chock full of references to popular culture. These occasionally felt forced but should resonate with a broad church of readers. As well as some of those references, I’d have preferred to lose some of the banter and tighten up a few of the scenes. (There were some events that seemed to stretch reality too far, even for a book which is about doing just that.) A smaller cast of characters would also have suited me better as I occasionally found it hard to keep track of who was who. A list of characters at the back would be another option. I have a feeling that if that was done, the descriptions would be ‘creative’, to say the least.
There was one scene (By a lake. With a water spirit.) where the silliness was put on hold for a few pages. That scene was compelling reading and I think the book would have benefitted from more writing like that for the added depth, balance, and darkness.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted read with plenty of cheek, you can’t go wrong. And if you appreciate puns, especially puns about deer, you won’t find many other books on the market that grab that particular genre by the antlers like this one does.
On that appalling dad joke. I’m out.
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