I’m so excited to be part of The Savages Blog Tour, hosted by Book Nerd Tours and Hot Key Books! This book was so much fun, so well-written, and a fun read that will appeal to both teens and adults.
About the book:
They’d love to have you for dinner . . .
Sasha Savage is in love with Jack – a handsome, charming … vegetarian. Which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Sasha’s family are very much ‘carnivorous’. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha’s father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother’s culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel – as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .
The nitty-gritty: A delectable family tale with heart as well as bite, and a cast of larger-than-life characters that will make you laugh out loud.
The boy shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other.
“We could always eat her,” he suggested.
Titus closed his eyes for a moment more than a blink.
“Ivan, we have no idea where she’s been.”
“But we have to do something,” he said.
Grandpa eased himself down to take a closer look.
“It would be a shame to let her go to waste,” he said, and gently grasped her bicep as if to evaluate the flesh. “At least that way we know there’ll be no evidence left.”
Titus glanced at his wife. Angelica looked down at the body, but Kat was back in her arms and wriggling to be set on the tiles.
“Normally this takes planning,” she said. “I’m all out of onions, for one thing.”
What’s a girl to do when the hottest boy in school asks her out? Why, bring him home to meet the parents, of course. But when your boyfriend is a vegetarian, and your family…isn’t, well things are bound to get interesting. Meet the Savages, a close-knit family with long-standing traditions and a taste for…human flesh? Yes, you read that right. The Savages may seem normal on the outside, but their celebrations at home include carefully and lovingly prepared meals of the cannibalistic variety. When sixteen-year-old Sasha Savage decides to go vegetarian for a month in order to impress Jack, the family will never be the same again. The Savages is full of black humor of the hysterically funny kind, and will no doubt end up one of my favorite reads of the month.
In order for mom Angelica Savage to afford her expensive shopping sprees, she’s agreed to rent their house out to film crews for commercials. An unfortunate freak accident in the guest bathroom leaves actress Lulabelle Hart dead, and the Savage family wondering what to do with her body. When a private detective becomes suspicious about Lulabelle’s disappearance, the Savage family will need all their wits to stay one step ahead of the law.
Whyman’s writing style is snappy with perfect comedic timing. He does dialog so well, that despite the absurdity of the storyline, I could easily see this story playing out on the big screen. Each character adds something special to this book, and I loved all of them, even the bumbling and inept PI Vernon English, who spends most of the story trying to figure out exactly what the Savage family is hiding.
Grandpa Oleg was one of my favorite characters, a man who fretfully wanders the house in a state of confusion (he can never remember where the bathroom is). But he has a heart of gold and a soft spot for his granddaughter Sasha, who tries to explain to him why she doesn’t want to eat meat anymore, to which he replies: “If giving up meat makes you truly happy, then so be it. Just so long as you don’t give up on family.”
I also loved Sasha’s younger brother Ivan, a misunderstood boy whose talent is devising elaborate (and often dangerous) pranks that usually get him in trouble. And baby Katya, who is about to be initiated into the family’s carnivorous traditions once her teeth come in, has some very funny moments of her own, one of which involves a large chunk of tofu.
But as hilarious as the story is, Whyman throws in some social commentary about vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, but makes it all part of the plot without really taking sides. I’d love to hear from some of my vegetarian/vegan friends about whether there is actually a rivalry between the two groups. Sasha does pretty well when she decides to give up meat, but when her boyfriend Jack turns hardcore and gives up dairy and eggs, their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Whyman manages to poke fun of just about everyone in the story without going too far, which makes for a lively and highly entertaining tale.
Reading The Savages might just make you hungry for a perfectly prepared steak, or it might turn you off meat altogether. Whichever side you fall on, I guarantee you’re going to have a blast. Highly recommended.
About the Author:
Matt Whyman is a bestselling author, also known for his work as an advice columnist for numerous teenage magazines.
He has written two novels for adults, Man or Mouse and Columbia Road, as well as both fiction and non-fiction for teenagers, including Superhuman, XY, Boy Kills Man, XY:100, The Wild, the So Below trilogy, Inside the Cage, Goldstrike and The Savages.
His most recent books, Oink! My Life With Minipigs (also known as Pig in the Middle), and Walking with Sausage Dogs, are both comic memoirs about family life with problem pets, published by Hodder and Stoughton.
Matt has worked as ghost-writer for the recent autobiography of a celebrity dancing dog, and under the pen name of Carnegie-nominated mystery writer, Lazlo Strangolov, author of Feather and Bone and Tooth and Claw.
A graduate from the University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, Matt is often invited to teach the subject for writers of all ages. Recently, he has hosted workshops across Russia and the Middle East.
In 1995, Matt became the first agony uncle for 19 magazine, and has subsequently written regular advice columns for B, Fox Kids, AOL UK and Bliss. He often appears on television and radio in this role. Over the years he has co-presented a series of ITV’s cult Saturday morning show, Love Bites, and a live weekly phone-in on LBC. He is currently resident agony uncle on BBC Radio 1′s The Surgery
Matt is married with four children, and lives in West Sussex, UK.
Big thanks to Book Nerd Tours for organizing this blog tour and supplying a review copy! Click the logo below to see all the other stops on the tour: