TITLE: A Penny For Your Thoughts| AUTHOR: Robert Ford & Matt Hayward| PUBLISHER: Poltergeist Press | PUBLISHED ON: June 1, 2019 | PAGES: 287| RATING: 4 hooks out of 5 | SOURCE: Copy provided by authors for review consideration.
Guys, this book is a fucking trip! It’s been a while since I’ve had this much fun with a book. It’s hilarious, it’s gross, it’s creepy, it’s touching…this book gave me a lot of very conflicting feels and I loved every second!
The book follows Joe, a recovering heroin addict freshly released from prison and trying to get his life back on track in some…questionable ways. Joe is a likeable, albeit extremely flawed, character and I really enjoyed following his insane attempts at staying clean while battling a whole new kind of addiction. But what really adds soul to his character is his connection with his father. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of the novel, but their relationship and the love they clearly had for each other is what really drove my personal connection with Joe. His interactions with all of the other characters in the novel, and especially with Kenny and Ava, show that while he definitely isn’t a “good guy,” he is compassionate and truly trying his best to clean up his mess, which made the story all the more compelling for me.
While the humour is definitely present, this is still a horror story, and it has its fair share of chilling moments to make sure the reader doesn’t forget that. The two genres blend effortlessly in this novel, so that I found myself sometimes laughing and feeling utterly disgusted all at the same time. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but the authors have managed it beautifully here. I love a book that can make me question my own sense of humour by having me laugh out loud at completely gross, inappropriate moments, and this book delivers on that HARD.
The writing in this book is awesome. So often, collaborative projects end up feeling a little clunky because the authors’ styles just don’t fully mesh, but this book is seamless. Ford and Hayward clearly jive, because at no point could I pick out a section and say “oh yeah, this is where things switched off.” I also loved, LOVED all the little witticisms and descriptions thrown in, they definitely had me chuckling more than once. The story is completely unique, and while I had a couple of points where I had to remind myself not to think too hard about the specifics and just enjoy the ride, for the most part everything weaves together in a rewarding way. I wish we’d spent a bit more time with the Crimson Sisters, and I would have liked a little more detail on the mechanics of the wishes, but honestly this book is so much fucking fun that I can look past the areas that lack a bit of detail.
This book is a seriously fun read. I was hooked from the very first page and I had a hard time tearing myself away from it. It has a couple tiny weak points, but really the story as a whole is strong, original and just SO. DAMN. FUN. Highly recommend grabbing this one if you need a bit of a creepy laugh in your life (and really, who doesn’t?)!