A Bad Day for Voodoo, by Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand's YA novel A Bad Day for Voodoo is logic-free, character growth-free, and a solid 94% ridiculous, but it still makes for a cheerfully weird good time—particularly for its self-described target audience: “[Readers] old enough to think that people losing body parts is funny, because that's basically the whole book.”

That's actually a pretty solid summary. Strand's hideously unlucky protagonist is high school sophomore Tyler Churchill, who takes revenge on a sadistic teacher by sticking a pin into the leg of a voodoo doll. When his teacher's leg promptly flies off (spraying blood like a geyser across seventh-period history), Tyler, his girlfriend, and his best friend embark on an increasingly bizarre night-long journey to return the doll, struggling to survive everything from carjackers to cannibals.

Plausibility has left this novel by page 16, several of the jokes are paper-thin, and Strand tries way too hard for quirkiness, but there simply aren't enough books written for this audience (read: goofy teenage boys) for me to apply my usual standards of nit-picking. A Bad Day for Voodoo is, at best, enjoyably preposterous, but I'm planning to hand my copy over to a pair of fourteen-year-old kids who definitely qualify as “reluctant readers”, and I'm betting they're going to love it.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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