Review/Blog Tour/Giveaway: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?
But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.
Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?
Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing.
*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*
*This Review Contains Spoilers, Proceed At Your Own Risk*
Composing my thoughts on this book is difficult, so I am going to allow a series of gifs to explain how exactly I feel about this book and why exactly you need to read it…This book was a complete hot, hot, hot mess and that is exactly why you need to read it! Now bare with me, allow me to explain. The story starts off with Shiels being captivated and then protective as a beast from the sky crash lands into a classmate. As an elected official on the student council it is her duty to protect the students.
I am going to move past the self-righteousness of Shiels, which continues throughout the book and briefly discuss Alan Cumyn. I felt as if the author was extremely disconnected from today’s youth that he thought a thesaurus would be a good substitute for actual research. The terminology was just ridiculous, and as a high school teacher, completely unrealistic.
Then there is the romance aspect of the book, which is a whole other level of chaos. I have never seen so many unlocked janitor closets for fooling around in! And it seems that teachers do not care or even bother look for their students. Apparently at Vista View High, there is no dancing such as grinding, the new inappropriate dance is the wrangle dance…but not to worry its totally cool to video tape it, show it to parents, relive it vividly in your imagination…
As if a pterodactyl in the book wasn’t enough chaos, lets add in a pregnancy scare. But do not fret, because all high school girls freely discuss their monthly visitor with their mothers and have this open type of relationship. I have never met a single woman in my life who would discuss their period with their mom in casual conversation…EVER! #awkward
Finally, the Vista View High seems to be co-run by Shiels and the principal. Shiels spends numerous school nights up until 2-4 in the morning writing down speeches for the principal to give. Alan Cumyn is so out of his element with how high schools actually work.
However, all of these factors together combine to make for a unique and compelling story. It was literally so chaotic, I couldn’t put it down. Shiels sees a Pterodactyl, ditches everything she has build up in her life based on a feeling and then BAM!
Shiels falls head over heels in love but they didn’t even speak…because a Pterodactyl doesn’t exactly speak alot of English. In addition, her mother falls in love with the Pterodactyl…everyone within 25 mile radius falls in love with the Pterodactyl. The real dagger in my heart was that it was misleading to describe the book as a shape-shiter novel, because there is no shifting. He is just a pterodactyl boy of teenage years.
I think this was truly Alan’s intention in the end, was to write something so ridiculous and outrageous you have no other option than to read it. This book was honestly a wonderful train wreck that I will most definitely read again!
lan Cumyn is the author of twelve wide-ranging and often wildly different novels. A two-time winner of the Ottawa Book Award, he has also had work shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, and the Trillium Award. He teaches through the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a past Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada. He lives in Ontario, Canada.
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FOLLOW THE TOUR:
3/25: Fiction Fare – Q&A
3/31: YA Bookmark – Playlist