Time to send in the killer clowns. Oh wait, they’re already here.
Quinn Maybrook moves with her dad to the tiny middle of nowhere town of Kettle Springs. Despite the 1950s style diner and grouchy old folks, she finds her fellow high schoolers surprisingly diverse and woke.
Unfortunately, there is something rotten in Kettle Springs, and when the clowns come out of the cornfield to pick off the partying teens, Quinn must quickly change her opinion on gun control in order to survive.
A slasher novel with a strong political message at its heart, I’m not surprised the movie rights have already been sold. It reads like a film novelisation. There’s the teaser opening, then the introduction of new girl and her dad unpacking in Hicksville, where nothing seems quite right. The school is full of the popular teens – Queen B, Jock, Broody Loner. The second act introduces some gory set pieces, which could be played for laughs or screams, depending on direction, before the third act revelations and the finale with blood soaked, yet triumphant heroine.
Slasher films would be my least favorite horror genre, and I wasn’t aware that there were slasher novels, yet Clown in a Cornfield is my least favorite of the three I happen to have read this year. I couldn’t get into the characters, the kills were lack luster (apart from one or two), and I found the reason for the carnage underwhelming.
I’m afraid I made a crucial mistake and judged a book by its cover. I fell for the beautiful cover design, and the evocative title, and had some pretty strong expectations going into the novel.
To be fair to the author, it’s well written, and it certainly fulfills slasher expectations. Someone more tuned into the author’s sense of humor will undoubtably find it fun.
I see a lot of reviewers voice their hesitation to read this book because it’s deemed young adult, or who compliment it for being good despite being young adult. As someone who reads a lot of young adult books, and finds the quality just as variable as every other age group, I am disappointed to see so much disrespect aimed towards YA.
My disappointment with this book is nothing to do with the fact that it’s published under the HarperTeen imprint. It’s more that I expected a Pennywise like villain and instead got an Americanization of the movie Hot Fuzz.
I award Clown in a Cornfield…
Clown in a Cornfield is available for $9.70 ebook and $16.19 print book on Amazon.