Cover Image: Freaks


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•::• Review •::•
Freaks •::• Brett Riley •::• ⭐️⭐️

Hunted by monsters. Wanted for questioning. Late for class.

Four high-school friends suffer daily humiliation at the hands of three bullies. 

When the friends accidentally open a portal to another dimension, they unintentionally allow terrifying, other-worldly creatures to invade their small Arkansas town. Discovering that they are now endowed with strange
superpowers, the four teens dub themselves “Freaks,” the very name their tormentors used to ridicule them. The Freaks must fight to save the lives of family and friends now in mortal peril and thwart a secret government task force that appears to be hunting them.

Thank you to @netgalley and @imbrifexbooks for the e-arc and the audiobook of Freaks in return for an honest review. 

I did enjoy this, I think it was a good start to the series, I liked the characters and the  message behind the story. 

This book has good visualisation and I could see it being played out in my imagination. However, the book did not surprise me at all, I felt as though I knew where everything was going. I’d have liked the unexpected!

I’d also like to mention that it’s marketed as YA, I think the swearing and some of the way things are described are a bit much for a YA. Definitely not for the 12yr old YA reader that’s for sure! 

Unfortunately, no matter what I tried the audiobook played with a ‘tinny’ effect and this really frustrated me! 

I will be reading & listening to Travelers soon.
#bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookworm #paperwhitepages  #booklover #readmorebooks #readinglovers #booksta #idratherbereading #bookobsessed #ilovetoread #igreads  #freaks #brettriley #imbrifrexbooks #netgalley #audiobookreview
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I finished this story both delighted and dissatisfied. The writing style, and story itself was delightful and imaginative. For the most part the plot was well constructed and not predictable. 

The first part of the story deals with some intense bullying. There's definitely some language here (and throughout the story), as well as content that would make me hesitant to let a younger teen read. The bullying can be brutal, and hard to listen to. At the same time, this sets the stage for thr rest of the story. 

I struggled with finishing and rating it. At times it can be a hard read. I came back to the fact that the writing is strong, and the plot itself well done. With that in mind, I give Freaks by Brett Riley a 4/5.
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This was supposedly a feel-good revenge story about four kids who kept falling victims to three bullies. Micah, Gabby, Christian and Jamie were trying to console themselves after repeatedly being bullied by a group of three kids they called B3 by - you guessed it - chanting some unknown scripture that ended up opening a portal to another world. While they got Marvel-esque abilities as a result (which they thought were handy in repelling B3), they also unfortunately brought in an unwanted otherworldly creature.

What a great plot, right? I was so intrigued by the above set up that I had to pick up the book (the audiobook, in my case). Unfortunately, while I was expecting a bit of mystery thriller, it ended up not having any. The entire story was told in sequence (even the creature had its own chapters too) which pretty much left no mystery to be seen. 

I also found that the characters, both the freaks and the bullies, had too similar voices. They all used similar words and had similar mannerisms. Kenneth, in particular, had so much potential for character growth, which I thought ended up being untapped. Aside from the profanities and machismo (which didn’t really suit my taste), the story itself felt a bit more middle-grade than YA. 

Having said all that, the book had great action scenes. I really could picture the fights playing on-screen. Perhaps I was just not the right audience for this. Perhaps this book would be more suitable for superhero comic lovers.
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Just couldn't get into this one as an audiobook. It worked a lot better for me as an actual reading experience, it was easier to follow that way, and I think that's just down to the way it's written. Nothing against the narrator or the story itself.
If audiobooks are how you prefer to take in books, still check this one out.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review, which has not altered my opinion of this book.

Unfortunately, once I stopped listening to it for a while I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up again. I have a feeling that I missed the part that I would have enjoyed, but really cannot bring myself to start again. This book just didn’t do it for me.

I have been bullied in the past, not to the degree the protagonists were, but it is a part of my past and so I could sympathize with some of what they went thought. However, there were several things that just left an off taste in my mouth and lead to me not being able to continue.

I couldn’t really settle into the story, it felt a bit confused. The storyline itself was fine, but what really got me was the fact that this felt like a 1980s-1990s style story that takes place with modern aspects. The bullying felt like from when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure kids have other ways of bullying now that are much more effective, unfortunately. It did ring true in many parts, though I had trouble believing that three of the four kids would actually harm anyone. That or I just didn’t get enough of their personalities in order to really understand them as characters. Along with that, unfortunately, I found the dialogue to be a bit flat and the plot unsurprising.

This is probably a quick read, but it just wasn’t for me so I did not manage to finish this book and therefor will not be giving it a review (if I do, it’s a 1 out of 5).
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Dnf @34% - just not for me. The writing was great, just think maybe i’m a little too old. 

Giving 4 stars because the writing itself is great and the story so far is good. If I’d read this at 13 I’m positive I’d have loved it.
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Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 
The book Freaks by Brett Riley is about four friends in high school who have been regularly bullied by three people known as B3. These friends create a "wizards" meeting and preform a ritual from an old book that opens a portal and releases a monster into their world. By opening this portal the four of them, as well as one of the B3, are given powers. They must decide either to use their powers for revenge on the bullies or use them to defeat the monster that was released into the world. 
If you are a fan of Stranger Things and Xmen, you may enjoy this quick and easy read. If you are looking for a book with characters with details or a storyline with a great depth to it, I would not suggest this book.
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What makes this book different from all others? It is unique in the fact that there are already a group of kids that are a found family, do they start to add more or keep it in their small little clan? It is unique in the fact that they are including fantasy with a little splash of reality, a lot of reality. Think Stranger Things but with more school and real life happening and less monsters but we know they are there and watching. At almost 30 years old it was a little harder for myself to get dug into but I am happy that I continued and listened to the audiobook. 

Why should anyone care? Monsters. Magic. Found family. Evil and Good but are we confused on who is good and who is evil? Middle schoolers meet magic meets real life.
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This book had so much potential... The story of four friends who have been bullied their whole lives for various reasons, only to unleash an even bigger monster fight back. The book definitely left room for a series to be built off of it and that is actually where it loses both of its stars for me... It felt like rather than giving the majority of the book an ending author chose to leave many things open ended. I listened to the audiobook and I can say the narrator was great. I been reviewing this on audible, I would have given the narrator five stars, despite giving the storyline only three.
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I enjoyed this YA fantasy! A nice mix of Stranger Things/Astrid and Lily Save the World with Marvel super powers. I liked the characters some could have had more depth but a fun fast read. Looking forward to the sequel.
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This isn't the typical book I read or listen to, however I was really drawn to the synopsis and thought I would give it a shot. I actually really enjoy books about bullying but the story felt a little flat. I really didn't enjoy the characters as much as I thought I should either. At times, the POV was hard to follow as well just because we get repeats of the same storyline through different eyes - which is okay, if done right.

The narration was great,
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Freaks by Brett Riley is the story of 4 teens that have been victims of bullying most of their lives. To deal with the feelings of helplessness, they decide to do a role-playing game. One of the boys uses his uncle's off-limits stuff as props for the game. They perform a spell they found in one of the books and accidentally open a portal. Following the incident, the kids discover they have super strength and special powers. When people start dying violently, they realize something else came through the portal. When it's time to step up, will the kids use their newfound powers for payback or protection?

I enjoyed the plot. With a simple theme of good versus evil, it's easy to follow. The victimization of the main characters makes them the perfect underdogs you want to cheer for. The story is action-packed and moves quickly.

Despite enjoying the plot there was not much else to entice readers. The characters weren't well developed, instead, they were cliches.  Additionally, there wasn't much going on in the book outside of the main story and it was pretty predictable.  I know there is another book and I'm hoping it has more depth and subplots.

 This was an audiobook and was narrated by P. J. Morgan. She is an experienced audiobook narrator. Her use of distinct voices as narrator and individual characters adds to the enjoyment of the book.  The only thing I didn't like was her narration voice had a disconnect and fell flat as opposed to the character voices that are rhythmic and emotion evoking.

 I give this book 3 out of 5 stars because of the above-mentioned items I found lacking. However, the things lacking allowed the book to be quick and concise.  It was a fast and fun read reminiscent of a comic book.  Perfect for when you're reading for distraction and don't want to have to think. 
 I would recommend this book to action and science fiction lovers. The topic and structure of the story would entice fans of superheroes and graphic novels. I recommend this book to young adults and up due to the violence.
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This audiobook took me a long time to finish. I was tempted to just DNF it but I got to the end finally.

This book should have been wonderful. There was action, magic, teens, mayhem. But unfortunately, it was rather boring. Not to mention that the bullying was horribly done. Some of it was sexual assault but it was just glossed over as something they had to live with and all adults were apparently in on it as well.

The girls in this book were not portrayed well at all. They were treated horrible by everyone, including the other "freaks."
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ARC audiobook provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“Freaks” is book about four friends in high school who are subject to bullying by three boys.  One day, the friends decide to do a LARP (live action role play) involving spells.  They take the LARP too far, however, accidentally reading a real spell that opens a portal to another dimension.  In doing so, the four friends each gain a super power, but it comes with a cost: an evil creature from another dimensions slips through into their reality.  As the bodies pile up, can the four friends choose to use their super powers to save the day, or will they choose to simply get back at their tormentors?  Throw in a bit of a government conspiracy, and you have the story of the four “Freaks.”

This book is definitely more of a young adult read.  A large portion of this book is hyper-focused on the bullying the four friends experience and their desire for revenge.  I did feel that this was overly emphasized and drawn out.  This theme didn’t need to be repeatedly so heavily to get the point across to move the narrative forward.

That being said, the book was a quick easy read.  The story flows quickly from beginning to end.  However, this also left a lot of areas underdeveloped, as well as the characters.  As other reviewers have noted, the book lacked some true depth.  

My copy of this book was an audiobook, so I must comment on the narration.  I did find the narrator did a good job with the story.  The character voices were well done, and the entire narrative flowed easily.  I would give the narrator a five star review.

Overall, this book was middle-of-the-road for me, hence the 3-star review.  I think the concept was great, but the execution was a bit lacking.  The story does set itself up for the sequel, “Travelers,” due out later this year, and I believe the story concept was interesting enough that I’ll pick it up.  I think this book would work well for a young adult reader looking for an interesting supernatural/horror novel.  If you don’t expect too much, this is a pretty fun read.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to review Freaks.

This book was...interesting. It centers around a group of teens who are being mercilessly bullied at school. They come upon an ancient book and eventually open a portal to another world. This consequently unleashes other-worldly creatures into their small Arkansas town and also gives the friends supernatural powers. A fight for good versus evil ensues. 

The premise of this book was very interesting to me, especially as a fan of superhero movies and comics. However, I do not believe this should be marketed as a YA novel. There is a lot of adult language, gore, and offensive language. This would probably make a pretty good movie though, I just don't think it should be targeted at a young adult audience.
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This is my first read by Brett Riley.  A group of bullied high schoolers open an ancient portal that releases creatures into the town and some how gives them special powers.  This gave me some horror/superhuman comic book vibes.  There were times that there was too little information or too much.

Thanks NetGalley and Imbriflex Audio.
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This book was like reading an episode of Freaks and Geeks with a touch of X-Men. I liked the togetherness of the group for sure. The 4 friends definitely have a bond like no other.

There were a couple of things I was really happy about! Although these kids go thru so much, they definitely ended up in a found family trope. I think it helps understand the anger spurts. Lets be honest, high school isnt easy. Another detail I loved was the inclusion! We have Jewish, Latina, Black, and LGBTQ inclusion in this book. It's so important to have representation now a days.

This book is perfect for readers that love supernatural setting, super powers, and fight for justice. I was a little bit taken by surprised at the constant need for payback. The bullying was at times a bit uncomfortable, but overall the story flows pretty steady. I wonder if the constant bullying also had to do with their religion, color, and sexual preference, sex... but then again, that may just be me trying to over analyze. It felt a bit stereotypical when it comes to the scenarios that the characters were set in.

I am curious to see how this story evolves! Huge thanks to the author for gifting me a copy. All opinions are my own
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing an audio copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

The story had potential and started off good but I was disappointed in the book as a whole. THe book focused way too much on bullying and revenge. The main four characters were a bit flat to me and way too stereotypical for me. I never really feel for the characters and so it was hard to want to continue the book. It felt slow in many parts. 

This being an audio book was nice. The narrator did a great job. She had to read like 7 characters and I was able to tell them apart quite nicely. 

Overall, it was ok to read. I probably will not be following the series and I would be hesitant to read something else by this author.
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Four high schoolers suffer daily humiliation from bullies, the ignorance of adults and indifference of their peers. When the friends accidentally open a door letting ungodly creatures into this world their lives change forever. Gifted by the same magic that opened that door these freaks set out to punish their tormentors. With dead bodies piling up the freaks know that with great power comes great responsibly they set out to hunt the monster they freed. But it wont be easy with meddling adults, ignorant police officers and nosey "homeland security" agents. This story is very much Chronicle meets Stranger Things. I did enjoy that we got to experience everyone that is involved point of view. I did not care for the personally of a lot of the characters.
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I received an audiobook via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The narrator, PJ Morgan, did a great job. She had to read from 7 different characters perspectives and was able to differentiate between each.  

Freaks follows a group of 4 teenagers who are bullied by 3 guys at school. The 4 play LARP games and one stumbles across a trunk full of an uncles occult items. The kids decide it’s a great idea to dress up in robes and read from one of the books. They open a portal, letting in beings from other dimensions and end up with special abilities. 

What I liked: 
Super powers-who doesn’t want them?
Revenge of the nerds
Good vs evil

What I didn’t like:
The 4 main characters are bullied for being different. They’re all kind of nerdy. 1 is black, 1 is Jewish, and 1 is gay. It felt a little too easy to “other” them. 
The bullies. They don’t have a reason for being so awful.  
The characters are kind of 2 dimensional and fulfill stereotypes. 

For a good portion of the book I was not loving it. Then the last 6 or so chapters have an epic battle between our main characters and the creature they let in. It was well written and suspenseful. I really enjoyed the ending and it raised the book for me. 

Trigger warnings: bullying, homophobia, racism, antisemitism, violence
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