In this absurdist take on high school archetypes, student body chair Shiels Krane meets the ultimate outsider, Pyke, a strangely alluring humanoid pterodactyl who flies into school unannounced and disrupts her meticulously controlled life. Amid concerns that Pyke will be ostracized, he instead becomes half of the school’s newest power couple and the front man for a band with a raw animal magnetism that beguiles the entire school. Through this bizarre filter, Cumyn (Tilt) simultaneously pokes fun at over-the-top genre trends and engages with an array of pertinent topics—slut-shaming and ruined reputations, awkward sex, fears of the other—without becoming preachy. Cumyn pulls no punches whether commenting on the idol worship of high school football players (Pyke’s ball-catching prowess quells an angry parental mob but ultimately leads to disaster) or following Shiels’s unimpeded exploration of her sexuality and desires. At heart, this is a deliciously weird and original contemplation of personal metamorphosis, the intoxicating effects of lust, and the clarity that comes with experience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015 Release date: 03/22/2016 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.