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Squid Face Girl and A Wretched Little Book of Poems


Loved it! 😍

A unique tale of tentacles, zombies, and high school, mixed with action and heart.

Allen Isom presents a young adult novel with a pragmatic heroine. Kali is a normal teenager with a bit of a problem: she has squid tentacles growing on the bottom of her face. High school has its own set of problems, but Kali's struggle really takes the cake. And you'd think having a "squid face" is enough to drive a coming-of-age story, but you thought wrong.

Facing bullies every day at school and receiving no positive reinforcement from her family, Kali has a lot on her plate. However, things change when she visits a tiny bookstore. Most of us who love reading, scan a bookstore and feel a rush from being drawn to one specific book. Kali stumbles upon A Wretched Little Book of Poems, hoping to find inspiration.

If there were two words to describe Squidface Girl and a Wretched Book of Poems, they would be exciting and unique. This book is hands down the coolest story I've read in a long time. A magic book of poems that physically sucks you into scary tales? Yes, please! I'm a big fan of horror, so Isom's book immediately grabbed my attention. If you aren't interested in horror, I still urge you to read this book.

The story felt akin to the movie Hellraiser in that A Wretched Little Book of Poems is a portal to a dark realm of horrors. Kali's journey is a metaphor for navigating the muddy waters of being a teenager and feeling like an outsider. I connected with Kali, which made the story that much better. Not to mention the vivid imagery and well-written prose. If you are looking for something different and fun to read, with an unexpected ending, check out Allen Isom's Squidface Girl and a Wretched Book of Poems. And maybe keep the light on if you're reading it in the dark.

Reviewed by

Rachel Patterson's poetry has been published in several literary journals, such as The Penmen Review. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English, and she is completing her MFA in Creative Writing. Rachel lives near Pittsburgh with her husband, son, and three crazy cats.

This Old House - 26

About the author

When Allen Isom isn't conjuring up spine-tingling tales of terror, he can be found lurking in the shadows, cackling maniacally and muttering to himself. Born in a haunted house, Allen Isom has always had a fascination with the darker side of life. His writing is a twisted mix of horror and humor. view profile

Published on January 01, 2022

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

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