A new hilarious novel from the author of The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever and Stranger Things Have Happened.
Rod’s life doesn’t suck. If you ask him, it’s pretty awesome. He may not be popular, but he and his best friends play in a band that has a standing gig. Yeah, it’s Monday night and they don’t get paid, but they can turn the volume up as loud as they want. And Rod’s girlfriend is hot, smart, and believes in their band—believes in Rod. Aside from a winning lottery ticket, what more could he ask for?
Answer: A different cousin. When Rod’s scheming, two-faced cousin Blake moves in for the semester, Rod tries to keep calm. Blake seems to have everyone else fooled with good manners and suave smile, except Rod knows better. Blake is taking over his room, taking over his band, taking over his life! But Rod’s not about to give up without a fight. Game on. May the best prankster win…
In this self-aware comedy, a teen's life is thrown into disarray by the arrival of his manipulative cousin. Sixteen-year-old Rod is the lead singer of an almost-successful punk band, and he has a hot girlfriend, so he thinks everything's fine. But when his buttoned-up, hyper-privileged cousin, Blake, comes to stay for several months, the two are instantly at odds. Blake seems hell-bent on sabotaging every aspect of Rod's comfortable existence, but Rod can't persuade anyone else of Blake's nefarious intentions: is he succumbing to paranoia or is something else going on? Rod's easily distracted inner voice and quasi-unreliability as narrator he's prone to exaggerations and digressions cause the plot to meander toward its climax. Looked at one way, this is a textbook example of gaslighting and psychological warfare; looked at another way, it's a comic war of wills between two teenagers pushing each other to the breaking point. Strand (Stranger Things Have Happened) has a keen ear for dialogue and character interaction, but the ending fizzles after all the buildup of tension between the cousins. Ages 12 up.