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Wormwood Paperback – December 15, 2020
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"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
Ebenezer Scrooge has no time for the poor or the wretched. And it’s “Bah, humbug!” to anyone who wishes him a Merry Christmas. But when he turns in for the night one cold, fateful Christmas Eve, his past, present, and future converge. | Learn more
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- Publisher : Silver Shamrock Publishing (December 15, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 165 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1951043227
- ISBN-13 : 978-1951043223
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.42 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Wormwood is about two 14 year old best friends, Baker and Seb, and how their life and friendship changes after meeting badgirl Cass. I really connected with Baker, the new kid at school and only child, as I’ve been in that same situation when I was young. Cass is Baker’s first crush and the way it’s described reminded me of the awkwardness I felt when I experienced my first case of puppy love. After gaining the boys trust, Cass slowly starts to show the sadistic part of her personality. By this point both boys are mesmerized by her charms and able to tolerate and even embrace this side of her.
One of the things I loved was how each chapter had a countdown under the title leading up to the horrible event that goes down at the end of the book. It kept me turning the pages faster and faster to see what was going to happen.
The only small issues I had were I would have liked to learn more about Seb’s character and the book felt a tiny bit too YA for me.
Overall I really enjoyed this one. It had everything I look for in a good coming of age tale. I’d love to see these two wonderful writers collaborate again in the future!
Cassie's behavior quickly becomes more erratic and bizarre, with each incident disturbing Baker just a little bit more. She steals a pig cadaver from the school and has them take turns cutting it open and pulling out the insides. After Baker gets into a fight with the school bully, Cassie convinces the bully to meet her in the woods where she ties him up, strips him and offers him up to Baker so can get his revenge. This entire scene becomes more disturbing the longer it goes on for Baker and the reader. Days later, Cassie convinces them to break into an empty house on Wormwood Ave which they begin using as their clubhouse.
The young boys are enthralled by the older girl, and both begin to have feelings for her, which they are trying to hide from her and from each other. Cassie begins to play the boys off one another using those feelings to keep the teens doing her bidding. As the situation unfolds, Baker soon finds himself in the middle of a situation that he can no longer control. Wormwood is a suburban nightmare for any teen or parent of one. This is as realistic as it gets, as simple as it can be and as deadly as any outcome that you can imagine. Five stars for a story that had me holding my breath until the final pages were turned.
How resonating this quote is. Because sometimes; even though it shouldn't, love can feel very lonely. A dark and disturbing story of teenage angst and trying to fit in, falling into the wrong group of friends. But as a teenager, none of that matters when it's what you want more than anything. The hormones are raging and the blinders are on. The warning signs are so easy to ignore All that is seen is two exciting friends to hang out with, have fun with, and finally fit in.
Even though this delves into a very dark place, it was an exciting and edgy coming-of-age story. And written as a collaborative by two exceptionally talented authors makes it that much more unique.
Beautifully written where the scars run deep! Suspenseful and intense!
3.5 scarred stars
Top reviews from other countries
Wormwood documents a troubled young boy’s sexual and moral awakening. A boy that has not been able to put down roots in any of the many places he has lived, following his mother and her job around the country in a similar situation to that of “Army brats”, his resentment grown to a spike between himself and his mother. In his new town, he starts a tenuous friendship with a boy called Seb, and through him meets Cass, the subject of his infatuation and downfall. Before you think this is a tried and tested love story triangle, it’s not. This is all about manipulation, from the very first moment of their meeting, and it leaves a wonderful bitter taste in your mouth. You want the relationship to grow but understand, right from the beginning, that the relationship is all one-sided, and not going to a healthy place.
I don’t want to go into the story too much, I think that would be a disservice to the two authors who have done an exceptional collaboration on the piece, instead, I want to focus on the craft. Because there’s a lot in evidence here.
The flow is really well-paced. The build-up of underlying tension, counterbalanced against the awakening of the MC’s discovery of love, desire, and the human need to explore those new emotions, is masterfully illustrated. You can absolutely understand Baker’s drive – his instinctual addiction to the object of his infatuation. It’s both tragic and redeeming for the reader – who hasn’t lived through a crush? What lengths wouldn’t you go to, to prolong those moments in which you finally feel awake, alive, and of worth in the eyes of a love interest? The emotional investment from the reader is perfect – a fantastic balance of hope and distrust. The tainted quality of the relationship and the increasing lengths of malfeasance the boys and Cass undertake, leave you in no doubt as to who is the manipulator and who is being led, yet the emotional bond between the reader and Baker, that recognition of his right to experience first love, first infatuation, first sex, drives us to almost need him to come together with Cass, to fulfill his right to be her lover – possibly, to be her redemption. It’s beautiful, but the authors leave us with no doubt, that this was always going to be a tragedy. And they really deliver on that promise, in sudden, brutal, raw detail that packs the punch we horror readers crave. It is a slap in the face, and the moment of “oh shit”, as it all goes south in an instant, is magical, that feeling of realized dread that marks the moment of perfect timing.
Wormwood is exceptionally written. It’s magnificent. One of those books that make me aware, as a writer, that I still have so much to learn.
Gentlemen, my compliments.
5 out of 5 ⭐