Hey, Germs! Sometimes I have tons of trouble trying to figure out which book I want to review. Sometimes I go through my Kindle and, despite having hundreds of books, I sigh and need to go find more. This was one of those times.
Freaks of Greenfield High by Maree Anderson caught my attention because of its tagline: “A cyborg love story.” I’ve heard of a few books exploring cyborgs and love, but none of them had really caught my attention. I read the description and decided that, yes, I would get this (FREE!) book.
Freaks of Greenfield High has two main protagonists: Jay (a cyborg lady) and Tyler (a social outcast, teenage boy). For the most part, we see Jay’s integration into high school life as she tries to hide from the people who are chasing her. While she’s a skilled mimic, she doesn’t really understand how to handle the advances of rudely flirtatious boys. Even though Jay and Tyler see each other briefly in the office before school, our protagonists don’t meet until their first period biology class when they have to dissect of a frog. It gets a bit embarrassing from there — especially when Jay realizes that her emotions are evolving.
What I Liked
I utterly adored how Jay was portrayed throughout the book. It’s made clear from the start that even though she’s a cyborg, she can feel and has emotions. Everything about her was very calculated, such as how much strength she could use to throw a pitch and how much she could show off. It was a great way to show that she wasn’t quite human. I also really liked that at first she saw her emotions as errors that she didn’t know how to fix, and finally she saw them as errors that she didn’t want to fix.
As for Tyler? I liked how he was different but still suffering from the same problems that teenage boys do. For instance, he had a huge zit when he was going to school, and it worried him. I also liked that he was really protective.
As for the story? I enjoyed that there were chapters dealing with the people hunting Jay; it reminded you that this wasn’t just about a cyborg girl hiding at a school. She’s on the run from something dangerous.
What I Didn’t Like as Much
This is going to sound really nit-picky, but I greatly disliked that there was text and chat speak mixed into the narrative. I understand it sneaking into dialogue between teenagers, but when it’s in the narrative, it feels a bit jarring. It took me a few times to realize that “OTT” meant “over the top.”
There was one other instance (slight spoiler ahead) that made me feel a bit uncomfortable. It was a very realistic reaction to what had happened, though, and it did stop after a few pages. It was a section that was very difficult to read, but it was meant to be hard to read.
All in all…
I really enjoyed Freaks of Greenfield High! I’ll buy the sequel Freaks in the City as soon as I can because I’d really like to see where the story is going next. I just can’t fathom why this book only has 14 reviews on Amazon! The description for the book mentions that it’s recommended for older teens — and I think I agree with that. It’s a very quick read; I think it only took me about five hours. If you’re looking for a book that balances teen romance and cool sci-fi cyborg stuff, look no further.
Have any of you read Freaks of Greenfield High? What did you think?
image (c) Maree Anderson