Man Made Boy

Man Made Boy

3.6 3
by Jon Skovron
     
 

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Love can be a real monster.
 
Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home.  When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob.  And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times…  See more details below

Overview

Love can be a real monster.
 
Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home.  When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob.  And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.
 
Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code.  When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.
 
This hilarious, romantic, and wildly imaginative tale redefines what it means to be a monster—and a man.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
★ 11/25/2013
Seventeen-year-old Boy is the stitched-together son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride of Frankenstein. He lives in a Broadway theater in New York with a host of other monsters and mythological creatures. But otherwise, he’s a typical teenager, spending lots of time chatting online with friends (who don’t know he’s a monster) and yearning for something new and different. When he leaves home to see the outside world, he ends up having a more exciting—and far more dangerous—adventure than he ever imagined. Jon Skovron knows his characters inside and out, and it shows in his skillful narration. He brings out all the personality and emotions of his characters, as well as the excitement and suspense of the action-packed parts of his book. Best of all, Skovron creates a marvelously entertaining array of memorable character voices for the colorful cast, which includes a gruff werewolf, a sophisticated vampire, a German mechanical man, a Southern waitress, the English-accented granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, and at the center of it all, Boy, who sounds like a typical American teenager. With its blend of sci-fi, horror, action, romance, and—at its heart—the universal longing for identity and a place to belong, this audiobook should appeal to a wide range of listeners. Ages 12–up. A Viking hardcover. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly
09/23/2013
Fleeing a claustrophobic life in a New York City theater that shelters mythological monsters from trolls to Medusa herself, Boy—the 17-year-old son of Frank-enstein’s monster—seeks self-understanding and an identity in contemporary America. Pursued by Viral Intelligence, or VI, a computer virus Boy created that seeks his love, he finds a traveling companion in Claire/Sophie, the granddaughter of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. Their shared experiences and her revelation of a tortured past lead Boy to evolve from self-pity to compassion in this tumultuous tale of attachment and growth from Skovron (Misfit). The abundance of nonhuman characters and Boy’s search for answers underscore pointed references to yet another literary influence—The Wizard of Oz—and the fiery interactions between Boy and Claire/Sophie keep the tone light. The efforts of Skovron’s hero to fit in with the world, as well as his lack of control over his own life, appeal directly to teenage angst, and Skovron resolves the VI dilemma in a way that suggests a union between creators and that which they create. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Praise for MAN MADE BOY by Jon Skovron:

Man Made Boy is monstrously fun.  Skovron weaves all things creepy and strange into a tale that is heartwarming, hilarious, and full of memorable characters. You won't be able to put this one down!” —John Corey Whaley, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Where Things Come Back
 
“A remarkable mash-up of Old World myth and post-modern techno-geek, Man Made Boy is one of the most original and compelling tales I’ve encountered. Evocative and utterly engrossing, Skovron has mastered the beauty, tragedy, and hilarity of the fine line between monsters and men. Read this book and marvel at his creation.” —Andrea Cremer, bestselling author of the Nightshade series

“This book has heart, brains, and everything else a book (or a monster or a reader) needs. Love monsters? If you do, Jon Skovron’s Man Made Boy is for you. If you don’t, why not?” —Kelly Link, award-winning author of Magic for Beginners

"A comically creepy coming-of-age road trip..." —Kirkus

"...a clever reimagining of Shelley’s Frankenstein..." —Booklist

" [a] tumultuous tale of attachment and growth..."  —Publishers Weekly

"Boy is a guy to whom plenty of teens will relate, and they’ll be pleased to discover that the big wide world has a place for just about everyone and every monster." —BCCB

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Lucy Schall
Boy, the son of the Frankenstein monster and his bride, is a stitched-up computerized hacker who balances a desire for freedom with his responsibility to save the world from VI, a hostile computer virus that he creates. Boy grows up in a sheltered home, a New York freak show of mythological and literary monsters. His father wants to send him to Geneva to study and also to meet the Frankenstein family. Angry and rebellious, Boy seeks his own path. In a cross-country coming-of-age journey, he meets the daughter of Jekyll and Hyde, Claire Hyde and Sophie Jekyll, two persons in one body. The two (or three) search for other monster communities. Meanwhile, VI becomes more lonely and aggressive. Like his own parents and Frankenstein, Boy is haunted by a creator’s burden. He returns to New York in time to avert VI’s plan for mass destruction. Restitched by his mother and reconciled with his father, he acknowledges that like his monster father, he is a “Frankenstein.” He embarks for Geneva with a contrite and hopefully controlled VI in his laptop. Skovron’s creation will appeal to monster fans, computer addicts, and reluctant readers. Language and situations that could be considered controversial are appropriate for the characters and plot. The monster parade is sometimes overwhelming, but the message is that the worst monsters live within us. It is a fun read with serious issues. Reviewer: Lucy Schall; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 7 Up—In this intriguing fantasy set in contemporary New York City, Skovron takes readers into a tight-knit theater company that is secretly populated with literary and pop-culture monsters. The protagonist, Boy, is the stitched-together son of Frankenstein's Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein. As a scientific creation, he doesn't seem to fit in the world of magical creatures who look down on his father's ability to disconnect his emotions in order to serve as security for The Show. Instead, he begins to find his own place and personality when he leaves the troupe to try living in the human world. It takes a bit of effort to get there, but the principal plot focuses on a reluctant cross-country road trip accompanied by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's granddaughter(s) while fleeing from Boy's out-of-control digital creation, Vi. Solid writing with witty dialogue makes this a good choice for a variety of readers. Although the typical hero's journey seems rather stock, the wide cast of characters will delight readers who know their origin stories as well as entertain newcomers with their carefully crafted personalities and hinted at backstories. The inquiry into responsibility toward one's creations as well as to family and friends resonates well with Shelley's original text while also developing relevant themes for teens without interrupting an entertaining adventure story.—Erin Reilly-Sanders, Ohio State University, Columbus
Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
How do you circumvent the same, boring fate as your famous monster parents? Run away from home and launch a maniacal computer virus that might possibly annihilate human- and monster-kind. Oops. Seventeen-year-old Boy's name is mundane, but his life isn't. With his celebrity parents (Frankenstein's monster and the Bride of), he lives among a merry band of monsters and mythical creatures in catacombs beneath Times Square. Under the guise of a theater troupe, they perform a popular creature-feature show, their human audience blissfully unaware that the stage is populated by bona fide trolls, sirens and an egomaniacal gorgon. With their mostly scientific origins, Boy and his parents aren't fully accepted by the 100-percent myth-and-magic creatures in their commune. So rather than endure segregation--and the life his parents planned for him--Boy runs away. Tech-savvy Boy's plan to leave his stamp on the world backfires when the computer virus he engineers goes rogue, the troll he loves goes feral and returning home means facing parental wrath. From naiad to minotaur, the straight characters, gay characters, jerks, bitches, buddies and one major diva are fleshed out, not merely relying upon their exteriors for interest. And as Boy's journey takes him from the tri-state area to the West Coast, each locale rings with well-researched authenticity. A comically creepy coming-of-age road trip stitched together with action, romance, sex, combat and a couple of bootleg cocktails. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804123976
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/08/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 5.03(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Maybe it was the darkness or the vortexes or the magic flute player, but I just said it.

“I have a huge crush on you.”

“You are so incredibly lame for saying that.” The weight of her head abruptly left my chest.

“Wh-what?” My heart pounded in my chest. “Why?”

“Because at a time like this . . .” Her face was now less than an inch from mine. “You should just kiss me.”

So I did. As soft and sweet as her voice was, as her skin was, it was nothing compared to her lips. Her hot breath escaped into mine and I thought this must be what her heart felt like. I held her gently; she was so small and delicate that I could not help but surrender my strength to her.

Then she pressed against me and breathed in my ear, “Freedom.”

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for MAN MADE BOY by Jon Skovron:

Man Made Boy is monstrously fun.  Skovron weaves all things creepy and strange into a tale that is heartwarming, hilarious, and full of memorable characters. You won't be able to put this one down!” —John Corey Whaley, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Where Things Come Back
 
“A remarkable mash-up of Old World myth and post-modern techno-geek, Man Made Boy is one of the most original and compelling tales I’ve encountered. Evocative and utterly engrossing, Skovron has mastered the beauty, tragedy, and hilarity of the fine line between monsters and men. Read this book and marvel at his creation.” —Andrea Cremer, bestselling author of the Nightshade series

“This book has heart, brains, and everything else a book (or a monster or a reader) needs. Love monsters? If you do, Jon Skovron’s Man Made Boy is for you. If you don’t, why not?” —Kelly Link, award-winning author of Magic for Beginners

"A comically creepy coming-of-age road trip..." —Kirkus

"...a clever reimagining of Shelley’s Frankenstein..." —Booklist

" [a] tumultuous tale of attachment and growth..."  —Publishers Weekly

"Boy is a guy to whom plenty of teens will relate, and they’ll be pleased to discover that the big wide world has a place for just about everyone and every monster." —BCCB

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Meet the Author

Jon Skovron has been an actor, musician, lifeguard, Broadway theater ticket seller, warehouse grunt, technical writer, and web developer. He has nine fingers, dislikes sweets, and possesses a number of charming flaws. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, and after traveling around a while, he has settled, somewhat haphazardly, in the Washington, D.C., area, where he and his two sons can regularly be seen not fitting into the general Government scene.

Customer Reviews

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Man Made Boy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Jon Skovron's re-imagining of the Frankenstein story is a coming of age tale that adults and teens alike will love. Man Made Boy features other paranormal characters, as well as, seventeen year old Boy. The granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde and a few other monsters of note appear in this well crafted novel about one monster who is trying find his place in the world. Skovron's voice is poignant and full of teenage angst in this book and his ability to bring a new face to old story is amazing. Readers who like a good monster tale should not miss this one! I have always been a fan of classic literature and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my favorites. I loved the fact that Jon Skovron decided to put a modern spin on Shelley's masterpiece. Skovron is obviously very clever. I enjoyed his depiction of the underground monster community and the son and the monster and the bride. This book gives a nod to so many different genres, it is somewhat hard to classify. But in the end it is a young adult novel about a Boy's struggle to fit in, and similarities between monsters and men.  Boy was such an amazing character. Skovron has a real knack for getting into the head of a teenager. Boy is just like every other teen out there. He is clumsy and certainly doesn't look like everybody else with his stitches and large body. He doesn't have any interaction with the real world except behind the computer screen, where he can be anyone he wants to be. He has a crush on a girl who may or may not like him back. He wants to go into the world and see what's out there. Skovron does a masterful job of describing Boy's emotions and feelings and how he manages to make a place for himself. I loved the growth and character development that went into this one.  Half way through the book we meet the grand-daughters of the infamous Jekyll and Hyde. Claire and Sophie were my favorite supporting characters and I would have loved to learn more about them. The fact that both girls inhabit one body was interesting enough to be a novel all on it's own. I loved the fact that Boy develops feelings for both girls. A match made in heaven! His interactions with them and the Trowe girl were typical teenage romance and that was nice to see. The author didn't make his characters too mature or too focused on things that teens wouldn't care about. He stayed true to the teenage temperament and ideas and really made it work in this one. There were a lot of different characters mentioned throughout the book, that I found myself wanting to know more about. I felt like Skovron had so much to work with here, that it would have been nice to slow the pace down a little bit and give readers more insight into some of the other monsters. It seemed a little rushed in places and I just wanted to know more. I will be interested to see what happens to Boy as he goes to college and hope that Skovron re-introduces some of the other interesting creatures who were mentioned in this one.  This is a very good YA novel that will appeal to adults as well. Readers of the classics will find it interesting and definitely worth their time. Paranormal fans will love it. It's not a fairy tale re-imaging like those that have become so popular of late, but a monster mash. I enjoyed it a lot and am looking forward to a sequel.
b_ls More than 1 year ago
I might be a terrible paranormal reader. I have never read/watched anything about Frankenstein and his monster he created. I honestly had no idea how the original story went. This version however, I really liked! I liked that it was about the Monster's son Boy. His Mom, Bride, also made an appearance. Boy does not have a normal life. He lives with his parents at The Show. Where a lot of other creatures live. He does not venture out to the human world. Life at The Show isn't all its cracked up to be. Boy has the urge to go out into the world and see what it's like. He can almost pass for human right? He is a computer hacker who has a lot of interaction with other people on the computer but, not really in real life. He has even created something, a virus if you will. He has a crush on a Trowe girl, jut like your average teen boy. He chance to leave finally comes and he takes it. He likes his first trip out. After an argument at home he decides to run away and live among the humans. Will Boy survive in the real world? Will it be everything he imagined? Can he live as a human? Boy is a very interesting character. He is a teenage boy who is trying to be good at something, he has a crush, and he's trying to make his way in world he doesn't know much about. He is basically your average teen guy except he's kind of a robot human with skin sutured on him. So apart from that. As he quickly learns it is not that easy to live in New York with out any identification. After some unfortunate events he ends up being rescued by a were wolf from his crazy Trowe girlfriend and his creation. This is where he meets Jekyll and Hyde's relative. A girl, Claire and Sophie. He goes on a road trip with them to another group of creatures to try to find safety from his creature and their brothers. It is a crazy ride. Will they survive each other and the other creatures they encounter?  I loved Claire and Sophie. They were were great! I can't imagine sharing a body like that. Boy quickly develops feelings for both girls. Which, actually works out pretty well if you ask me. They are all kind of perfect for each other. It will be interesting to see where their relationship goes. Especially with how it ended.  In the end, this is a coming of age story for Boy. He learns the importance of family and friends. That you will do anything for them. It should be interesting to see how things go with Boy going to college! It was a fun read. So full of action and different creatures. I really liked it! I will be looking forward to the next installment. 
BooksAplenty More than 1 year ago
The premise of this book is genius - creative, intriguing, and just plain cool. Unfortunately, the execution didn't quite live up to my expectations. My theory is that Jon Skovron loved this book/premise so much that he added in every possible detail he could imagine until there were so many that the text became garbled with nonsense. This would have been a great story with more judicious editing. One element of the text that was actually more interesting than I expected was the computer programming component. Several sections of text were written as an IRC chat and Boy ends up writing a program that profoundly changes his life. This science-fiction aspect of the text felt really modern and was written clearly enough that even non-programmers will be able to keep up. While the novel was adventurous and creative enough to keep my interest all the way to the end, there were 2 main things that bugged me - 1. The supporting cast of mythical creatures was so huge and diverse that it was almost ridiculous. Boy has encounters with trolls, werewolves, the Invisible Man, Medussa, satyrs, the Sphynx, Kokopelli, a griffin, goblins, chupacabra, harpies, etc, etc, etc. The list is seriously ridiculous. And 90% of these creatures play absolutely no role in the story. They are basically background elements. This story would have been tighter if Skovron had limited his world to a handful of creatures. 2. The other irritating thing was that Boy found the "love of his life" three times in this book. Did I mention that he's only sixteen. And that the entire novel covers maybe 3 months. Sure these romances played a role in Boy's development as a character, but it was just a little bit much. When there is that much "true love" in 350 pages it's hard to take any of it seriously.. Overall, Man Made Boy was an intriguing read. The plot was interesting and peppered with danger and action. Unfortunately it is marred by some strange decisions by the author that made the story more campy and really messed with the overall tone.