Cover Image: Tree Face and the Cripple

Tree Face and the Cripple

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Member Reviews

Very interesting and unique take on YA survival. I was into the book until the sci-fi parts came in and a sort of checked out. As a middle school teacher I would love to teach with this book and compare it to classic survival

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I received a copy of the book from Netgalley to review.
A really bad read in pretty much all areas and quite offensive also.

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Catching up with reviews that have caught up with me. I didn't feel perticuly fond of this, wasn't really the sort of book for me.
Thank you to Netgalley for sending me a free copy to review.

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Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Tree Face and the Cripple in exchange for an honest review.

Have you experienced the absolute acid trip that is reading Annihilation? The only way I can think to describe Tree Face and the Cripple would be if that edgy greasy haired white boy from your 6th grade math class who thinks rape jokes are funny and claims that having a black friend gives him an 'n word card' tried to write Annihilation.

Despite its provocative title, I actually started out Tree Face and the Cripple assuming it was supposed to be an edgier survival story with a snarky protagonist for the pre-teen boys who hated having to read Hatchet in middle school because of its fast pace and in your face "I am a relatable teen boy telling you a story!" narrative but we quickly veer into the absurd and bizarre, hence the Annihilation vibe.

You never fully know what's going on and what Sam's hallucinating while stuck in the middle of the jungle but while bizarre, I still figured it was just a really weird middle grade book accidentally being marketed as YA. Kik-Kik, a 'cannibal' girl living in the jungle Sam's crash landed in is introduced and Tree Face and the Cripple beings to push the envelope a bit, but I still wasn't too concerned. Afterall, this is a book with a protagonist who swears by saying 'effing'. How bad could it possibly go?

Then out of nowhere in the middle of the book after a ton of pre-teen versions of swear words Sam calls Kik-Kik a slur. Two of them. This absurdist survival story that wouldn't even dream of swearing for some reason decided that the n-slur and a slur normally used to describe people with Down-syndrome were perfectly fine. From there the plot veers away from middle grade with assault scenes towards Kik-Kik and beyond me just not knowing who this could possibly be written for, I also don't know why it was written. The description made it sound like it'd be a story about a spoiled kid learning to be more tolerant and it definitely is not.

It actually didn't occur to me until the slur scene that Kik-Kik might actually been written to have some form of learning disability. The description calls her disabled but she has a physical disfigurement so I figured it was that disability being referenced but after the slur I started to notice how frequently Sam calls her 'mentally disabled'. I genuinely can't tell if that was the narrator trying to sound edgy or if Kik-Kik was written to have downs but if she was... oh my god someone has no idea what Downs Syndrome is what the hell.

In summary, bad. Very bad. I can't think who this is for, what it's for, or why it was written.

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