Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books on March 22nd 2016
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Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new…pterodactyl…at school. After all, everybody wants him!
Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?
But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.
Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?
Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing
Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is probably one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read. I mean, just look at the title and synopsis. You can’t really expect normal from a book about a hot pterodactyl boyfriend. I had a feeling that it was going to be weird and entertaining and that feeling was definitely proven right.
- The story: As bizarre as the story may seem, it’s actually quite relatable. Shiels is a control freak in every aspect of her life and she’s at the point in her life where she feels like she really needs that control. She’s applying to colleges and doing everything she can to make herself look good on those applications. It’s a really common story except for the fact that her school now has a pterodactyl as a student and his entrance in her life throws it into complete upheaval.
- Shiels: I really liked Shiels. Like I said, she wanted complete control and she was used to having it. That all changed with Pyke. She had to give up that control and she might have actually gone a little overboard (skipping school, hiding things from her parents) but she grew as a person when she did give up some of that control. She started to see that maybe things didn’t have to be so orderly and maybe she didn’t always have to be the one to do everything.
- The family aspect: I loved Shiels’ family, especially her brother. Her parents were involved in her life but sometimes a little absent and sometimes a little overbearing. I really just liked that they played a role in her life. Her brother, Jonathan, was the best part. They had the classic sibling relationship. He reminded me a lot of my own brother and their dynamics were very similar to ours. Maybe that won’t be a big deal to you guys but it was definitely a pro for me.
- Pyke: I could not relate to Pyke and honestly, he was a little weird. I mean, of course he’s going to be weird, he’s a freaking pterodactyl but I don’t know. It was more than that. He wasn’t very humanlike and so I didn’t feel like I ever got to know him. I couldn’t understand how he evoked this attraction from everyone he met. And it wasn’t always romantic attraction though that did happen. It seemed like everyone wanted to be something to him, whether it was a girlfriend or a mother figure. It was strange.
- The writing: This one isn’t a huge con for me but the writing took some getting used to. It is a little stilted and choppy but once I got used to that I could see how it actually moved the story along a little faster. Take some time to get used to the style and it will get better.
Overall, Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is one of those books that you should go into expecting something totally out of the norm. It was hilarious at times while also being really heartfelt. I can’t say it’s on my list of favorites but it has me eager to check out more form Alan Cumyn.
3 finished copies of Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend
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