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Meddling Kids

I fucking hate this book.

It’s 1990, and the remains of the Blyton Summer Detective Club are once again gathered in their summer hometown of Blyton Hills. Andy, Kerri, Nate, and Tim the dog are adults, back to their childhood stomping grounds to solve the mystery that tore them apart in 1977. It’s not a masked man they’re searching for this time, for here there be monsters.

I really thought I was going to love this book, especially with such a pretty cover and the premise that it’s an adult Scooby-Doo.

However, as previously stated, I hate this book. I’m going to list out the reasons as follows. SPOILERS FOR ALL, because if I can save you from reading this book, good.

First, I am under the opinion that straight men should never write lesbians, ever. Straight men fetishize lesbians to the point that, instead of focusing on the character with the panic attack, we get two paragraphs of boobs touching. Now, I’m not entirely sure that Cantero is straight (he has a tweet that maybe concerns his sexuality?) but he writes Andy like a straight man would.Andy’s pursuit of Kerri is borderline, if not entirely, predatory. Kerri tells Andy MULTIPLE TIMES that she’s straight or that she doesn’t like Andy that way, but Andy keeps pushing it to the very end.

Second, there are so many unnecessary words. Several times I read a passage and came away with the impression that Cantero has a copy of that “Said is Dead” pdf we got in middle school. There’s nothing wrong with said; said is fine. Some sentences have words that didn’t quite fit, and some sentences really wanted to be clever, but came off more confusing. There are also sentences that…just don’t end. On page 282, one sentence starts at the top and ends halfway down 283. It’s full of commas and run ons. There’s another on page 286 that just keeps going. They’re action scenes, too, but I had several people read them and try to parse it out, and all came away unsuccessful.

Third, I understand this book is set in ‘90 and the world isn’t quite down with the gays, but this is also Cantero’s playground. His book has so much transphobia to only have the one trans character, who is targeted alongside Andy, the only other LGBT character. It’s uncalled for, especially when Cantero tweets and posts blogs about supporting the LGBT+.

Fourth and final, fuck Peter. I don’t care if he’s a ghost of a hallucination, but he is for sure a c*nt. I don’t use that insult lightly, but I fucking hate Peter.

I finished this book out of pure spite. 0 starts.

Trigger warnings: mental illness, violence, gore, transphobia, homophobia, death, suicide


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