I’ve been thinking about underrated books recently, and I think I’ve found my most underrated one of the year! Also, I’m so sorry for my lack of posting! I’m doing online college and after being on my computer for the whole day, I simply cannot muster up the strength to stare at a screen for a second more than I have to. But I’m still trying to write on weekends!
🎢Amusement park setting
💥End of the world (or is it?)
A huge thank you to the publisher and Shelf Awareness for an ARC through a giveaway!
TL;DR: A group of Black kids live and work at an amusement park called Karloff County, the last oasis from a world that’s going downhill. Age rating: 14 and up.
The Getaway shocked me. People have compared it to a Black Mirror episode and they’re right. This story is horrifying and unforgiving, and so, so good.
We follow several Black characters: Jay most of the time, but also Zeke and Connie. We also follow Jay’s crush Seychelle, who is mixed-race and the technical heir to the great Karloff Country, aka an amusement park not unlike Disney World where everyone can escape the chaos of a slightly apocalyptic world for a little while.
but what happens when things start to go…wrong?
What happens when the thinly veiled racism and classism come out in full force? I don’t want to go into details but let’s just say that the oasis that is Karloff Country? Yeah, it’s only an oasis for some people. As Jay and his friends unravel mysteries and conspiracies and plots galore, they will be forced to reckon with terrors beyond imagination.
anyways I really loved this book.
It’s interesting because this book is actually mixed-media, which I didn’t realize before picking it up! Anyways, I loved the Black representation and the heavy discussion of elitism, racism, and classism against the backdrop of a dystopian society and a “perfect” theme park. I also loved how Seychelle was mixed-race??? Like, she had to deal with the racism from her white grandfather and those around her, and I think that her identity was certainly dealt with a lot of care and nuance*.
*i say this as someone who is mixed
I have to admit: this book does not hold back from its horror. And I really loved that? It’s not a scary book, in the way that we usually think of horror. No, its horror is rooted in real-world issues and that’s what makes this book so brilliant and so terrifying. You watch as Jay struggles to keep his crew together while trying to come to terms with what is happening around him. We hear so much in real-life about the audacity of the rich white and what they do and have done in the past. I think that this book takes that concept and runs with it.
I’m just so, so impressed at how incredible of a story this is. It’s a thriller and a horror, dashed with so much excellent commentary, with atmosphere and plot twists that I haven’t experienced in a book for a while. As October comes upon us, I implore you to READ THIS BOOK! It’s 100% the most underrated book I’ve read so far this year, and it’s the perfect read that’s not scary, but it is horrifying. That being said, please be aware that there is a lot of violence, racism, implied animal cruelty, etc. in this story.
Overall, I am so, so impressed with this book. It honestly reminds me why we need more POC in publishing: they can give us such powerful, nuanced stories like these. Be sure to order a copy, add it to Goodreads, and add it to Storygraph! Tell me: what’s an underrated book you read this year?
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