Saturday, October 13, 2012

ARC review: Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris

Warning: Bad Taste in Boys spoilers in the first paragraph. Read at your own peril if you haven't read the first book yet. 

Kate Grable became a national hero after she discovered a cure for the zombie virus that was running rampant through her high school. Little did she know that would just be the beginning of her fame and notoriety.

When Kate's brother Jonah discovers a dead girl at one of his gamer meetings, something suspicious is clearly afoot - something suspicious AND hairy. And now that something is going around trying to kill people. Could it be... werewolves? That's what Kate has to find out, and if she doesn't soon, she could be the next victim on the list of bodies that seem to be piling up.

In Bad Hair Day Carrie Harris reminds us what we loved so much about Kate in Bad Taste in Boys. She is just as sassy, geeky, and quirky in this go-around as she was the first time. And in this book, we even have the added benefit of seeing a jealous Kate when another girl tries to steal her boyfriend out from under her. And if you're familiar with Kate at all, given that thought, hilarity is bound to ensue, right?

What endears me so much to Carrie's books is that she doesn't hide behind her writing voice. What you read is what you get with her. Not only is her writing hilarious, but she really is that funny in real life too. Anyone who writes sentences like this is surely a comic genius:

The stupid car alarm was still going off, but no one came to investigate. I thought someone ought to make a car alarm that shouted "Free beer!" I bet loads of people would come for that.

And just so you don't think I'm writing a biased review here because I know Carrie personally, I will give one minor criticism of the book and that is I wanted the villain to be in the story more than he/she/it <----- don't want to give it away -- was. It sort of felt like this person/thing just appeared out of nowhere and I wanted to better understand his/her/its motivations. Yet despite my own preference for the villain to be more in the foreground of the story, this is still a fully developed, hilarious novel. The humor is what I and so many readers love about Carrie's novels. In fact, I did a book talk on Bad Taste in Boys this week, and after I read a short passage, I closed the book and immediately heard the voices of many of my students say in unison, "Oh! I want to read that now!" The writing just speaks for itself. You can't ask for more fun and camp than what you get in a Carrie Harris novel. If I ever find myself in a bad mood and need a good laugh, I now know that she is my go-to read for a for some cheering up - unless I'm in a bad mood AND nauseated, in which case, I'll steer clear of  Bad Taste in Boys with its frequency of vomiting zombies among its 200 pages. ;)

That is perhaps an added benefit of reading Bad Hair Day: those of you out there who are like me and have a low gross-out tolerance, the sequel will not gross you out nearly as much as the first one. For people (like some of my students for instance) who like to be grossed-out, they might be disappointed with this one - sorry, no black vomit this time. Oh wait, was that a spoiler? :)

Pre-order Bad Hair Day, purchase Bad Taste in Boys, and/or order her new e-novella Bad Yeti today:

 Bad Taste in Boys review
BTIB book launch event, July 2011
Carrie Harris classroom visit

Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris
Series: Kate Grable #2
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: Netgalley eARC

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