Reviewed by Rhonda
TITLE: Diary of a Teenage Taxidermist
AUTHOR: K.A Merikan
PUBLISHER: Acerbi & Villani Ltd
LENGTH: 266 PAGES
Ethan is a levelheaded, some might say ‘antisocial’, young artist-entrepreneur with a love for quirky taxidermy. He is close to graduating high school and at a crossroads. All he wants is to develop his fledgling taxidermy and jewelry business further, yet all his parents want is for him to go to law school. That is more than enough problems for Ethan, so any kind of love life is off his agenda. That is until Robert Hunter, the quarterback of the football team, comes crashing into him. Literally. Robert drifts along in high school. He has good grades, he’s getting ready for med school, he’s even leaving potentially problematic dating until college. He’s gay, not ashamed of it, but he doesn’t want to stir up any trouble. His carefully laid plans might just go completely off the rails though, when he drinks too much at a party and causes irreversible damage to Ethan, the school’s weirdo. Robert has to face the fact that maybe he isn’t the good guy he always considered himself to be. And maybe he doesn’t want to go to med school. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t actually want to wait with dating until college.
Hello again boys and girls, lets first talk about K. A. Merikan, who is not one person but two, Agnes and Kat Merikan, who claim to be so close that they share one brain and finish each other’s sentences. They also love to create characters who leave you wondering if they are good or evil or just human.
So now let’s talk about Diary of a Teenage Taxidermist. It is brilliant in that it starts with us wondering if Ethan’s quiet anti-social, emo character is the new Norman Bates or just really misunderstood. And Rob, all American high school heart throb football player, or maybe a sadistic, narcissistic freak that needs a good spanking and jail sentence. As you read this full length novel you will ask yourself the same thing, especially when they get to the prom which could have sent Ethan from Norman to Carrie in a heartbeat. We first meet Ethan on the evening of a party that gets out of hand when some of the “popular” kids, including Rob whom Ethan has had a crush on for some time, start teasing and chasing Ethan through the woods in what they called harmless fun. Things get out of hand when a shove from Rob causes Ethan to fall and get his head impaled on a branch causing Ethan to lose an eye. Rob carries Ethan out of the woods and takes him to the hospital, earning him an undeserved hero title, and waits at the injured Ethan’s bedside for him to wake up. Now is he there because he cares or because he wants to cover up his own role in Ethan’s injuries? It doesn’t matter because when Ethan wakes up, because he swiftly comes up with his own bit of revenge by blackmailing Rob into giving him what he wants or he will tell everyone exactly what happened in the woods. I could tell you what it is Ethan wants but I think that would be telling. I could also go on and on about how well written this is and give away all the plot twists but I am going to leave you to read this gem and see for yourselves how these two very different boys on the cusp of manhood reach maturity and the ups and downs they go through trying to find their way past the popular kids who have it in for Ethan. Rob is in the position of “Do I keep my rep as big man on campus or do I claim the man I love in public” angst. There is also some conflict when Ethan’s parents find out their little boy is all grown up and gay and not as brain damaged as they thought. Really they were just being protective, but there is not much they can do as Ethan is eighteen years old and already on the road to being self-supportive as his work with taxidermy starts paying off when he sells a stuffed work of art for big bucks.
Can they make their way through it all, past the loss of an eye, blackmail and loss of reputation to become everything to each other? Can opposites attract to this extreme? I am not going to tell you, you are going to have to read it and see for yourselves. You can’t expect me to tell you all the ins and outs or what is left to discover my lovelies! I for one am going to be looking for more of these author’s books and look forward to reading them all and I hope you do to. I recommend this book!