Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: February 12th 2013
Genre: Anthology, Mystery, Humor
A star-studded anthology with a devilish hook, whose proceeds benefit 826nyc: the fabulous literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers.
Can you imagine the most cantankerous book editor alive? Part Voldemort, part Cruella de Vil (if she were a dude), and worse in appearance and odor than a gluttonous farm pig? A man who makes no secret of his love of cheese or his disdain of unworthy authors? That man is Herman Mildew.
The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of this insufferable monster, where more than 80 of the most talented, bestselling and recognizable names in YA and children’s fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars, all of them are fabulists, and all have something to hide...
This is a hard book to review, due to the fact that it's an anthology. I really liked the idea behind this book when I picked it up. More than 80 authors have come together to defend themselves, telling why they did not kill their editor. I thought the idea was so fun I was excited to see all of the different stories that would come about.
I really liked this book when I first started out. I thought that this story might introduce me to some new authors, and for the first third of the book I truly did enjoy it, but at about the midway point I started to feel like I was reading the same story over and over again. I thought that, with so many minds, there might be more variation in the story, but that was not the case. I think that the authors much have been given pretty much the same instructions (which makes sense) but there was nothing done to make sure that the stories were unique from one another. There's really only so much you can do with a description of an editor that you are supposed to hate, and a general frame of where you are... By the end of the story I really just wanted the story to be over because I didn't find it interesting anymore. I did, however, enjoy how the book ended. It was quite humorous, and just a great way to leave it off.
I was thoroughly impressed by a few of the author's stories and how they wrote each part. I really liked (of course) John Green's small part of the book. John Green is just an overall nerdy, funny guy, and he lets that shine in his work. Gayle Forman also had a spectacular chapter. She had her's written completely in tweets between her and several other people (a few of which I recognized!) and it was really fun and unique compared to some other author's takes on the story. David Levithan also approached the prompt differently, by telling his story in poem format and I loved that. There were also a smattering of illustrators in this story, and instead of writing, they would draw and that really added something to the story that just made it a little more alive.