Book Review – In Stitches by Trent Seely

18133905Title:  In Stitches
Author: Trent Seely
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: When two broke social misfits aspire to raise the dead, their monster aspires to become a man. Tom Jefferson, a presidential sounding trauma surgeon, and Scott Bram, a cartoon obsessed neurobiologist, have big dreams. The two dorky mad scientists hop from grave to grave in small town Maine, with the ultimate goal of managing what no man before them has been able to accomplish: to create life. After numerous nights of body snatching and stitching, the pair are finally just a few steps away from bringing someone back from the edge. All that is left for their makeshift man are a few spare parts. What will happen when he rises? How will they handle it? Will they be able to make rent? See what kind of changes can occur over just a handful of days in this dorky dark comedy.

Sam’s Review:

Disclaimer: The author of this book is a dear friend of mine, but that in no way influences my opinion of the book.

In Stitches is a geek’s dream. I mean that very lovingly, but it’s a book that shares its love of what it means to be dorky, and does it without shame. We need more books that remind us that it’s okay to be insanely geeky, even if the rest of the world wants to judge us for it.

The characters in this book, particularly Tom and Scott were insanely memorable. While both social awkward, each has a very distinctive voice that makes it easy to tell who runs the damn show. Personally, I was a Scott fan, but that might be because the character reminds me of my fiancee, who also happens to be named Scott, and who is also a curmudgeon about geekness and people. He also loves Tetris. The similarities were a bit endless!

I also loved Tom too. He’s so darling, awkward, and he sucks with women, yet he’s the one you’d likely take home to mom… except for the part where he’s stitching people’s body parts for his own personal creation. Enter in Adam, the “monster” who is… well, he’s adorkable, lovable and downright silly at times. Perhaps that is Tom and Scott’s influence?

While In Stitches is a novel about playing god, it’s done in such a humorous way. I found myself laughing out loud throughout a lot of the book, and there’s tons of references and homages to video games, horror films, science fiction fandoms, Stephen King, and general geekiness. All of these aspects are wonderfully placed and add such a playfulness to the overall narrative, making the book hard to put down. It helps that all the characters are wonderfully realized, so their banter feels very natural and fun. Seely shines at characterization, because he knows how to get genuine laughs and not the forcible kind.

The only thing that bothered me, and this is a case of the physical edition I have, is that there were quite a number of typos in the text and no page numbers, making it harder for me to want to tab parts of the book and share favourite quotes. Still, I’m so much more forgiving towards these aspects because Trent is a dear friend and it is his first novel.

In Stitches is delightfully playful and would make a great edition on anyone’s e-device or book shelf. It’s cheeky, geeky, and does a great job of recognizing it’s target audience. I look forward to seeing what other silliness Trent Seely will come up with next!

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