Cover Image: Freaks


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book is written well and I enjoyed the narration of the book if you are looking for a good book about the complex ways of teens this book is for you
Was this review helpful?
I received this an ARC through Netgalley.  Four friends that are have been constantly bullied in school, end up accidently opening a portal to another dimension.  They release a monster into our world and end up getting powers as a side affect.  I agree with the other reviews that the type of bullying that is described in this book, I really do not think continues in this day and age, I also work in a high school.  I could get past that as maybe that was the authors own experience.  However, once Micah, Gabby, Christian, and Jamie get their powers it seemed they were more interested in using them to get revenge on the bullies or so scared of them that, they tried to keep everything hidden.  Not until people start dying do they even think to go look for the monster they also let out.  While this was labeled YA I felt it read more like a middle school book.  I really could not connect with any of the characters and was really hoping for more.  PJ Morgan did do a wonderful job of narrating the story though.
Was this review helpful?
This one had so much potential and I honestly wanted to love it so much more than I ended up liking it. At the beginning, I thought I would love this one but it kinda lost me and seemed to drag a little. I wish the characters had a bit more growth or more to offer but overall I would like to read something by Riley again to get more of a feel for their style.
Was this review helpful?
I'll preface this by saying that the book kept stopping for no reason so I had to keep going back to my phone and the app and rewinding 30 seconds so it could play another minute or two and then cut off again which was really frustrating and made it difficult to stay in the story. 

That said, I didn't really find myself wanting to stay in the story. Initially it was intriguing - these kids. being bullied and then gaining powers unleashing some monster on the world but I didn't like them. I found them kind of annoying and I struggled to believe they were actually willing to go and try to hurt the bullies etc. If I hadn't been constantly jolted by the audio cutting off, I would have zoned out. Honestly, i think I still did because I really don't remember all of what happened
Was this review helpful?
So, I thought the premise of how these 4 kids unleash something horrible on the world was pretty interesting. The lead up and way it happens felt right for the story. I really struggled with these bullies. In today's world what school is allowing this to happen? Do they really get their face smashed into the toilet bowl? Maybe it does happen, it just felt like the 1980's version of a bully, and it didn't sit well with me.

The story was fast-paced and exciting though, and I think it was fun to read.
Was this review helpful?
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Freaks introduces you to four high-school friends who are bullied on a daily basis. Some of which I can only assume weren't pleasant but then again - is being bullied ever pleasant? I think not. Then one day they accidentally open up a portal to a whole new world and they go on an adventure.

I'll admit that I got those Ready Player One vibes while reading this one. It definitely made this book a bit more interesting to me but that's basically it. The superpowers and the characters themselves could be interesting at times. It just felt like I either got too much information or not enough when it came to certain things.

Other than that, things did tend to end up being a smidge predictable here and there. I also liked how realistic the bullying was throughout this, but I do wonder why cyber was left out? Maybe Brett had a reason to do so? Maybe we will get another book? Who knows?

In the end, I'm happy that I got the chance to dive into this world and look forward to whatever Brett creates next!
Was this review helpful?
Freaks is a book that portrays a group of "nerdy" kids that open a portal that allows otherworldly creatures into their community. It has all the elements of a real page-turner, but somehow misses the mark in a few places. 

I agree with some other reviewers that the bullying is both graphically portrayed and a little dated. I can't imagine schools tolerating this type of bullying in the 2020s, but there definitely have been times when it would have. Setting the story in one of those times would have had a greater effect, I think, even in other aspects of the book: Videos are being uploaded from school to the Internet to shame these kids, but literally none of the adults whipped out a cell phone and started recording when things got weird? No home security footage to review? Okay... I guess?

There's a whole government agency (or at least sub department) dedicated to the supernatural in this book, but the agents are wildly incompetent and unprepared, too. I'll probably listen to the second book, the story was entertaining, and the reader was pretty excellent. However, I'm hoping that there is some shift that's made here - all of the grownups are awful. I understand that, at the end of the day, the "superheroes" will be the ones to fight the creatures and save the day, but the current trajectory is doomed. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Imbrifex Audio for the audiobook ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
*I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The writing is too bland and is very amateur to me. The characters are flat with uninteresting interactions with each other. I strongly dislike the audiobook reader. The accent got old. Weirdly, a woman is reading when a lot of the characters are young boys. I also don't like the vulgar language. The story is nothing new does nothing for the genre. I was hoping to enjoy it like "Stranger Things" but I would rather just rewatch that.
Was this review helpful?
Not gonna lie, was very apprehensive when I first looked at this book. I thought it was gonna have a lot of plot holes and just kind of jump from place to place, but boy was I wrong! The different perspectives given in this book really helped me understand the plot and I think it overall enhanced the story so much more. I thought the end was a bit drawn out, but regardless I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation until the last minute. I also loved the complexity of the characters. At first I had some pretty stubborn views on each of the characters, but throughout the story those views developed and it was a lovely example of how people, much like most things in life, are never black and white, but there's a lot of grey that we have yet to be exposed to!
Was this review helpful?
As an educator, I am fully aware that bullying happens, but I think this book borrows too heavily from archaic bullying techniques for his narrative. Also, I think it may be a bit traumatizing for someone who's been bullied to listen to graphic depictions of bullying in their reading. I was certainly put off right from the very beginning. Not to mention this book is pretty swear heavy and violent for YA.

P.J. Morgan was a good narrator and I thank NetGalley and the publishers for this ALC, but this book was not for me, nor can I (in good conscience) recommend it to my students.
Was this review helpful?
Honestly I can’t finish this. It’s taking me to a dark place I’d rather not visit at this point. 

I just cannot deal with the lack of care or support by adults, the impotence of the victims and the audacity of the bullies.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Imbrifex Audio! All opinions are my own!

A group of friends has been bullied for their differences for years. But when they accidentally open a portal to another dimension and discover that they have new superpowers, they think this might be their chance. But when other things crept through the portal, what will it take for them to protect the world?

I really have to say that I enjoyed the premise of this book! It was a refreshing take on the high school coming of age story, especially with the fantasy elements! There was also a lot of different representation in the book, and I appreciated that the characters were all so different and special. 

I think my biggest issue with the book was that the characters just weren't likable for me. I don't know if they felt one-dimensional or if it was just their personalities, probably a bit of both. It just decreased the enjoyment and made me not really care or particularly root for them in their struggles. I just found myself being uncomfortable by a lot of their choices/reactions, and that really took away from the overall experience.

I really enjoyed the narrator and thought they did a very good job of making the story come to life and differentiating among the characters!

If you like coming-of-age stories with a little bit of fantasy, this might be the book for you!
Was this review helpful?