The Tulane Hullabaloo

Despite childish plot, “Monsterland” reads as a nostalgic pleasure

"Monsterland" is about a theme park that is described as "the scariest place on earth." The book, written by Michael Okon, came out earlier this year.

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Upon first glance “Monsterland,” a new fiction novel by Michael Okon, may appear to be a book that most would consider too  juvenile for college students to take time to read, especially given the copious amounts of reading we are required to entertain for our respective courses already.

After reading “Monsterland,” I’ve concluded that this first impression of the book is partly true. The novel is very juvenile by definition — simplistic in language, fairly predictable in plot and reminiscent of those teenage years where werewolves, zombies and vampires had the captivation of most. What distances the book from initial impressions of it, however, is the fact that this book, in its nostalgia and simplicity, may be exactly what college students should take time out of their schedules to read.

As finals approach, college students need to balance out the dense material we constantly consume. It may be beneficial to take a break from the twelve sections of calculus we are studying and pages and pages of dissertations and articles we have to summarize to unwind and read stories that whisk us away to the world of the inexplicable.

Monsterland” is the perfect book to give students this opportunity. Readers come along with high schoolers Wyatt, Melvin and Howard on their quest to navigate the possibilities and challenges proposed by human beings’ interactions with the supernatural. Their adventure centers on a theme park named “Monsterland” where the guests freely interact with vampires, werewolves and zombies.

I do not want to spoil the story for potential readers, but rest assured the situations the students in “Monsterland” get themselves into offer college students a mental getaway with a little magic added. As finals approach, finding avenues of mental rest is crucially important, and “Monsterland” can give readers a chance to step outside of the realm of finals madness into a world where grades are the last thing students are concerned about.

“With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?” – Michael Okon

Overall, “Monsterland” is the perfect destination for readers who want to add a bit of supernatural fun and nostalgia into their reading queue. With its simplicity of diction and its loveable, all-too-familiar plot, this novel will remind readers of the books that made recreational reading the go-to hobby of our childhoods.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Despite childish plot, “Monsterland” reads as a nostalgic pleasure