aka YA Literature

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff

I know this has been out for a while, but I just finished reading it. It was an Alex Award winner, and when I read the summary, it sounded like something my students would really like. It's a thriller with science-fiction elements about a young woman named Jane Charlotte who has been detained in a Las Vegas detention facility and is being interviewed by a staff psychologist because when she killed a man, she told the police that she was part of a secret department called "Bad Monkeys" that kills evil people (often with a gun that makes it look like the person died of natural causes). Jane explains to the psychiatrist how she initially got involved with the Bad Monkeys from the time she was a teenager and first discovered that her school janitor was a serial killer. The characters were well-developed, it was suspenseful, and there were lots of twists and turns. It's not my usual fare, but I really enjoyed it. Although the ending had so many twists that it took quite a bit of willing suspension of disbelief, I can't wait to recommend this book to students. Off the top of my head, I know at least 5 specific students who will love it, and I'm sure there are many others I don't know as well who will like it. It has a lot of action and suspense, which I know appeals to a lot of teen readers. This is a must-have (at least for my school). I also really liked the cover; it definitely stands out because it's bright yellow and has a long thin plasticy-type cover. It will certainly attract interest.

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