Monday, September 10, 2012
Hilarious Romp: A Bad Day for Voodoo
By Jeff Strand
Sourcebooks Fire (Sourcebooks)
Darkly entertaining, ghastly yet inspiring, hysterically macabre, this is one ya novel I will never forget. I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed so hard while trying to read at the same time. Tears were soon streaming down my face as I attempted to focus on the hilarious, raucous, and wickedly entertaining A Bad Day For Voodoo. Jeff Strand is funnier than any prime-time sit-com ever recorded. His dialog is dead on and full of teen snark and venom.
Best friends Tyler and Adam hate their history teacher Mr. Click. Tyler is mad because he studied for a test he aced, yet Mr. Click gives him a zero and accuses him of cheating. Tyler didn’t copy any answers; another student copied off him. Best friend Adam figures they can get even and his answer to a mean history teacher is to visit a voodoo store in a seedy part of town and purchase a voodoo doll of Mr. Click. He presents the weird doll to Tyler, who is astonished and at a loss of words. I mean, who does that? Who buys a voodoo doll?
Adam encourages Tyler to just give it a try. Maybe the voodoo won’t work at all. Then there’s no harm done. Tyler puts a pin in the doll’s knee the next day in class and Mr. Click’s leg shoots off, bleeding and all. The class is terrified. The police and an ambulance are called. The boys are freaked out and Tyler hides the doll. Everything would have been just fine (well, not for Mr. Click) if Adam had left it at that. He’s afraid that Tyler will rat him out to the police, so he buys a voodoo doll of Tyler as insurance. The kids are joined by Tyler’s girlfriend Kelley as they try to race against the clock to get back to the voodoo shop and try to turn the curse around.
The rest of the novel involves a car jacking, a band of not-so-bright car thieves, four murders, one death, a careening car chase, a crazy taxi driver hyped up on Red Bull, a strange family with even stranger beliefs, one zombie fight, a gunshot wound, a pizza cutter wound, a car crash, one case of grand theft auto, a bleeding ear and two missing toes…oh, and about a zillion laughs! Who knew violence and mayhem could be so much fun?
When the boys are fighting off Zombie Mr. Click (he has escaped the morgue—oh, did I mention he died?-- and now he is a zombie with his leg attached, well, sort of, attached), Zombie Click is trying to fight Adam… Tyler tells the story, ”He (Click) pounced on top of him…so I grabbed the back of Mr. Click’s gown and tried to pull him away. The gown tore. This was officially the worst day ever.”
What’s worse than a zombie eating your friend’s face? Worse than a crazed zombie attack? Seeing your teacher as a naked zombie, of course!
If you mixed equal parts of Joan Rivers’ spot on one-liners, the comedic brilliance of Larry the Cable Guy, and the comic insight of Will Rogers, you might come close to Jeff Strand’s writing. A Bad Day For Voodoo reminded me of the movie “Adventures in Babysitting.” The kids have to travel around in dangerous parts of town where they meet more than their fair share of urban problems.
Highly, highly recommended grades 7-up. This is a no-brainer: Don’t miss this book! You’ll be sorry you did. No language, in fact, when Tyler cusses he does so by saying: s-word, f-word, etc. No sex. Zombie violence. Hilarious gun-fight between the ring of car thieves.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)