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Man Made Boy    by Jon Skovron order for
Man Made Boy
by Jon Skovron
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2013 (2013)

* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

If Frankenstein's Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein had a son, what would he be like? That is the concept of Jon Skovron's Man Made Boy. This YA novel follows the adventures of Boy as he tries to be a real teen in modern America.

All his life, all Boy has ever known was The Show, a Broadway theatre where audiences come to see fantastical acts on stage never knowing that the performers actually are monsters and mythical beings. Boy is not a performer and, at seventeen, is still a little young for any job other than a fill in wherever needed. He mostly spends his days online, communing with other hackers. His life is suddenly disrupted when he learns that his father plans for him to go to college in Switzerland and live with the Frankensteins.

On the verge of a breakthrough hack, Boy runs away to the apartment of one of his online buddies and starts to lead a normal life. Things quickly get out of control, though, when his computer program takes on a life of its own and soon he is running cross country to avoid the monster he has created. And therein lies the crux of the story.

Skovron has blended old-school fantasy and horror with modern day sci-fi in what otherwise could be contemporary YA. Boy is a likeable and realistic protagonist, and his dilemma is symbolic for what all teens face when they want to rebel against their family. The only problem with Boy's tale was the loss of the sci-fi elements for a good portion of the middle.

Man Made Boy is a fun and unique read. While Jon Skovron may have picked a monster for his protagonist, he is just as real as any teen and will truly resonate with them.

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