Sunday, December 11, 2022

Review: Clown in a Cornfield 2: French Lives by Adam Cesare

by Adam Cesare
Release Date: August 23, 2022
2022 Harperteen
Kindle Edition; 416 Pages
ISBN: 978-0063096912
Audiobook: B09MZR992B
Genre: Fiction / YA / Horror
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Set a year after the first book, it looks at how the surviving characters are dealing with fame and infamy when a new threat, wearing an old clown mask, reaches out to upend their lives.
My Thoughts
Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives definitely had an interesting premise. Famous from the attack the year before, Quinn, Cole, and Rust want only for life to return to normal so they can continue on with their lives and try to heal from the horrifying events through which they survived.  However, social media attacks have turned people against them, manipulating the information and creating chaos.  And while I loved the ideas and definitely believed there is some truth to it in our current world situation, I did feel like this book suffered a bit compared to the previous one in that the tension and suspense just wasn't there and that crazy action that was in the first book was also missing. 
Quinn is one of my favourite characters in this book; she is tough, devious, and just a lot of fun to read about.  Her father is now the town mayor and spends the majority of his time trying to get the town back to normalcy, despite its growing attraction for those tourists searching for all things macabre and horrifying, wanting to see where all the killing occurred.  Naturally, some members of the town obliged by creating a tourist attraction for those to purchase tickets and visit the cornfield where the 'event' happened a year before, to the disgust of some of the other townspeople, setting up an interesting scenario of us against them making the reader wonder how all of this was going to reach a boiling point and spill over. 
When attacks started happening all over the place, Quinn, Rust, and Cole were forced to head back to Kettle Springs.  This was a bit predictable as naturally, the three would need to be back in the same town in order for them to face down the cyberattackers who were actually heading to their town to take matters into their own hands.  This is also where things gets a bit muddled.  I really enjoyed the first half of the book, the setup, the attacks, and wondered how the author was going to set them up again for some disaster.  Unfortunately, I felt like all three of these characters changed and I was left trying to figure out what had happened, when suddenly the action started.  For whatever reason, I found it a bit more difficult to connect with the characters and believe me, with Cole behaving the way he did, I was rooting for Rust to find someone who was worthy of him.  It was interesting to learn the perspectives of a couple of other characters and what they thought about the events the previous year and how it affected their lives, something I wished the author would delve into a bit more deeply.  So, while the author did try to examine the affects of a community shattered by loss, I don't think he went far enough or deep enough into the psychological effects and consequences of such an occurrence.  

Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives was a solid book, with an interesting group of characters at its core, although I would like to see more character development within those characters.  I did like how the author tried to use social media as an explosive tool for creating chaos as I think it's definitely relevant in our day and age. There was a bit of an exploration about ethics and morals for some of those wearing clown suits and how they regretted their actions, but I am begging the author not to go down that route.  They brutally killed teenagers with machetes, etc..., should there be a redemption arc? Hell, no!!  And this is where I absolutely loved the end of this book, the best chapter if you ask me, which makes me hopeful that book three will be a beautiful chaotic mess.  I can't wait!!



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