MAN MADE BOY TOUR
Welcome to the MAN MADE BOY blog tour! The son of Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, 16-year-old Boy has lived his whole life in a secret enclave of monsters hidden beneath a Broadway theater, until he runs away from home after he unwittingly unleashes a sentient computer virus on the world. Together with the granddaughter(s) of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Boy embarks on a journey across the country to L.A. But Boy can only hide from his demons for so long…
**I totally loved this book! My YA Books Central review:
Jon’s Guest Post
On Trolls and Beauty
Boy, like his parents, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein, is made from dead body parts stitched together. But he doesn’t really think of himself as ugly because he’s grown up in a secret enclave of monsters. He has a completely different standard for beautiful. Which is why he has a crush on a troll girl.
To be fair, the trolls of Man Made Boy more closely resemble dark elves than the stereotypical Scandinavian trolls. They even go by the name “trowe”, which is the Scottish word for a troll-like fairy creature, as a way to distance themselves from the stereotype. The trowe in my story are only slightly taller than humans, with long lean limbs, dark green skin, white hair, and bright jewel eyes. Of course, they also have protruding fangs and long curved claws. They are still trolls, after all. But my hope is that once you get used to Boy pining for this diamond-eyed, be-fanged troll girl named Liel, you begin to think of her as attractive as well. With any luck, by the time Boy leaves the safe confines of his monster enclave, you’re thoroughly used to his own monsterishness. So that when humans treat him as ugly, you are just as shocked and hurt as he is. And when Liel gets out among the humans…well, that’s when things really start to get messy.
Body image and concepts of beauty are things I examine a lot in Man Made Boy because they are topics I’ve always found fascinating, both conceptually and personally. Beauty defines so much of what we do and how we perceive the world, and yet it is entirely subjective. Standards of beauty shift from one generation to the next, sometimes even from one year to the next. More to the point, our own view of ourselves changes almost constantly. There are days when I feel like Hottie McHotpants. And then there are days where I feel like calling me a troll would be a kindness.
At no time is that heightened awareness of beauty more intense than when we are teenagers. Partly that’s because our bodies really are changing so fast, with smooth skin erupting into horrendous pimples in the space of hours. But I would say that even more than that as we begin to decide who we are and who we want to be, there is a fear for so many teens that they are unlovable. And it’s difficult to desperate that feeling from the idea of being attractive. I think this goes for boys as well as girls, although it might manifest in different ways. They’re all feeling the same way, and yet they’re all ashamed to admit it to each other because what if they take that risk and find it’s actually only them.
It blew my mind when Kurt Cobain just came out and said it:
“I’m so ugly. But that’s ok. ’Cause so are you. We’ve broke our mirrors.”
I gotta say, 1991 was a great year to be an angsty teen.
Throughout the revision process for Man Made Boy, people would ask me, “So is Boy ugly or not? It seems to keep changing.”
To which I would generally smile in this irritating way I have and say, “Yes, it does.” Because the question really is, “Will Boy recognize his own beauty by the end of the book?”
MAN MADE BOY Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Boy’s father is Frankenstein’s monster and his mother is the Bride. A hacker and tech geek, Boy has lived his whole life in a secret enclave of monsters hidden beneath a Broadway theater, until he runs away from home. Now, the boy who’s never set foot outside embarks on a madcap road trip with the granddaughters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that takes him deep into the heart of America. Along the way, Boy falls in love, comes to terms with his unusual family, and learns what it really means to be a monster—and a man.
About Jon Skovron
Jon Skovron is the author of STRUTS & FRETS and MISFIT. Visit him at jonskovron.com.