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Carry On, My Wayward Daughter

Have you ever wondered what Dean Winchester might be like if he'd been born a girl? Then Eva Darrows’ The Awesome might be for you.

Carry On, My Wayward Daughter

BOOK REPORT for The Awesome by Eva Darrows

Cover Story: Montell Jordan
BFF Charm: Confused
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: In Her *****ing Head
Bonus Factors: Supernatural, Book Design
Relationship Status: Thanks for the Ride

Cover Story: Montell Jordan

The colors! The typefaces! The spooky skull! If I was an artist, this is the kind of style I’d love call my own. The rest of the book design, at least the version I received, is equally cool. Check out the black page edges!

(P.S.—I found a blog post by the cover artist, Pye Parr, explaining the design process. Neat!)

The Deal:

Maggie Cunninhgam isn’t your typical teenage girl. She doesn’t attend school, she hates shoes, and—most unusual of all—she’s an apprentice hunter. Not the type of hunter that builds deer blinds, however; Maggie and her mother hunt paranormal creatures such as vampires, werewolves, zombies and ghosts.

Maggie’s been training for this life as long as she can remember, but there’s one problem: vampires love virgins. And in order to move up the hunter ranks and get her journeyman license, Maggie needs to be able to go near vampires without them breaking into a frenzy. So in addition to studying for her GED and cleaning ectoplasm off her jeans, yet again, Maggie has to find a willing deflowering participant. Which, surprisingly, is harder than one might think, at least in Maggie’s case.

BFF Charm: Confused

Maggie’s a girl on a mission, and I have to give her props for that. And there were times while reading The Awesome that I completely connected with her. She’s feisty and awkward and has the occasional bout of self-doubt, particularly about her more “squishy” physical features. I hear ya, girl.

Often, however, I didn’t understand or connect with her motives at all. Maybe it’s the fact that my formative years were spent reading books and doing homework, while she spends most days putting her life on the line. I also really didn’t love her “I’m going to be crass for fun” attitude … But I’m old, so maybe it was just one of those “kids these days, smh” situations.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

The swoon in this book, although there is some, is colored by the fact that Maggie needs to lose her virginity to move ahead in her job. Although I’m certainly not old-fashioned, I do think that your first time having sex should be something more special than a perfunctory “let’s get it done” kind of deal. Thankfully, best laid (*snicker*) plans don’t always work out like you want them to, and Maggie unexpectedly finds herself in an actual relationship, which is so much sweeter than a random hookup.

One thing to note: the sex, when it happens, is described in detail. But it’s not really that sexy? This makes sense, as we’re “seeing” the event though Maggie’s often aloof, somewhat clinical thoughts, but it makes for a scene sorely lacking in swoon.

Talky Talk: In Her *****ing Head

Reading The Awesome is like going for a ride inside Maggie’s head. It’s not always pretty, but you know what’s happening as it happens, and all of the action is depicted in some seriously colorful language. For example:

“I would have asked more questions, but the ghost chose that moment to rush us to get to Ronald. It was the first time I’d ever been run through, and let me tell you, you never forget having that particular cherry popped. It’s like someone shoving a snow cone down your throat and a popsicle up your butt at the same time.”

In Maggie, Eva Darrows—side note, what a GREAT name—has created a truly unique main character, and although I might not have always agreed with her or liked what she was thinking, she never felt false.

Darrows’ world and plot building, however, left a little to be desired. I would have preferred more of a focus on the incident with the paranormal creatures—I’m being vague to avoid spoilers—than Maggie’s quest to lose her V-card.

Bonus Factor: Supernatural

To fans of the long-running show about two paranormal hunter brothers, the world in which The Awesome is set will feel very familiar. And although they never say it outright, “saving people, hunting things, the family business” could easily be Maggie and her mother’s motto, too.

Bonus Factor: Book Design

Yeah, I’m mentioning it again. The design of this book is—wait for it—so awesome.

Casting Call:

Alona Tal as Maggie

Samantha Ferris as Jackie, Maggie’s mom

Neither match how the characters were described in the book, but I couldn’t resist.

Relationship Status: Thanks for the Ride

Before our date, Book, I was excited to meet you. I dig your premise (yes, even with the focus on the virginity-losing), and was looking forward to some exhilarating monster tales. The few you told me were … but, sadly, I think we’re just too incompatible at this point in time. Give me a call in a few years when you’ve had a chance to mature a bit?

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Ravenstone. I received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. The Awesome is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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