REVIEW: Guys Read: Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka

Guys Read: Thriller
GUYS READ: Thriller
Edited by: Jon Scieszka
272 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Release Date: September 20th, 2011
Source: Paperback from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

A body on the tracks

A teenage terrorist

A mysterious wish-granting machine

The world’s worst private detective

The second volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading is chock-full of mystery, intrigue, and nefarious activity. Featuring some of the best writers around, and compiled by certified guy Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: Thriller is a pulse-pounding collection of brand-new short stories, each one guaranteed to keep you riveted until the final page.



THE OLD, DEAD NUISANCE by M.T Anderson: This is the first story in Guys Read and although it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve read it wasn’t exactly the worst. I haven’t read or heard of M.T. Anderson so my expectations weren’t that high. It’s basically about whose father is a cameraman for some scary show where they film spooky places.He hears from the crew that there’s treasure somewhere in the building so he tries to find it. The only problem is that the sons of the Old Nuisance are evil and don’t want the main character to find the treasure. Again it wasn’t that good but since I’m not really a fan of ghost stories I wouldn’t know if you would enjoy it. I’ll rate this story about 2 stars

BELIEVING IN BROOKLYN by Matt De La Pena: I kind of liked this story cause it had a moral to it at the end and because it talks about helping people out and stuff. But it had a message to it and was more about teaching people a lesson in life than a Thriller and didn’t the cover of the book say Thriller? The story is about a boy living in Brooklyn who live with his elderly and sick grandma. His friend whose kind of a loser makes a drawing of a wish machine and sticks above the kids fireplace at his house. The next day the kid makes a wish and it comes true, this continues on for a while and then one day something happens to his grandma….. Like I said I enjoyed this one a lot but it didn’t exactly thrill so I’ll rate this one about 3 stars.

THE DOUBLE EAGLE HAS LANDED by Anthony Horowitz: I’m a huge fan of Anthony Horowitz he’s an amazing author and I’ve read a ton of his books. This book is basically a shorter version of one of Mr. Horowitz’s Tim Diamond Private Detective stories. It is super funny and is one of my favorite stories in Guys Read. There is only one draw back and that’s because again it wasn’t thrilling! I would give it 5 stars but it was more of a funny detective story than anything else so I’ll rate it 4.

PIRATE by Walter Dean Myers: I’ve got no clue about who Walter Myers is but this story was fantastic, this is one of the few stories in this book that actually Thrilled me if not the only one. It’s pretty much about a Somalian boy named Abdullah who’s a pirate at the age of fifteen. He is fighting for his country and fighting to stop the Europeans from polluting their fishing area, that is their source of income. I really enjoyed this one not only was it thrilling it also showed me the other side of the pirates and not the side the news and propaganda shows. If your gonna read this story this one should be one that you should look forward too I gave it a full five stars, the only thing that I didn’t like was that it was so short if it had been longer I would’ve enjoyed it much more.

THAD, THE GHOST, AND ME by Margaret Peterson Haddix: Mrs. Haddix is one heck of a writer, she is like the Larry Fitzgerald of writing. But this story was a huge disappointment. I expected some awesome sci-fi that would be giving me nightmares and I was rewarded with some boring story that made no sense at all. I give this story 1 star and I’ll leave it at that.

PUDDING By Jarrett J. Krosoczka: Pudding was a nine page comic that was literally the dumbest comic I have ever read. And trust me I’ve read a lot of dumb comics. It’s about some boy who eats pudding and gets weird powers, the story picks off in the middle of nowhere and ends in the middle of nowhere. 1 star.

THE SNAKE MAFIA by Gennifer Choldenko: Another great story from an author who I don’t know but surpassed my expectations by far. It was interesting and thrilling. Oh and add the funny Indian dude named Harpreet, who was just awesome. The story is about two Japanese boys whose father is a reporter and gets into a lot of trouble with the Snake Mafia. The boys go looking for him and try to rescue him from a room filled with poisonous snakes, it’s just a great and read and it was long too, so it had plenty of details. I rate this one a full 5 stars, nice job Mrs. Choldenko.

Oops, my bad, you know how I said I didn’t know who Gennifer Choldenko is? Well I just checked and she is the author of Al Capone Does My Shirts! I remember reading that a long time ago and it was awesome. No wonder this story was so great.

NATE MACAVOY, MONSTER HUNTER by Bruce Hale: Even though it was kind of babyish Monster Hunter really wasn’t that bad. It’s about this boy who is totally obsessed with cryptids(don’t know what those are) and his friend gets kidnapped by a monster so he goes to save him. Bruce Hale did a nice job with the cliff hanger at the end. And I since I’m a sucker for books with bullies in em who are actually pretty(like the Fourth Stall) cool I’ll rate this story 5 stars.

BOYS WILL BE BOYS by James Patterson: Mr. Patterson, you are supposed to be an elite author – the Peyton Manning of writing. But instead you wrote this story about a body on the tracks? You’re probably thinking that a body on the tracks would be thrilling right? You’re totally wrong if you really want to know why I am so mad about this one you have got to read it yourself. It was just a total disappointment and I’d rate it -1 stars, if that were possible.

GHOST VISION GLASS by Patrick Carmen: This one wasn’t that bad even though I would’ve expected more from Mr. Carmen, author of the Atherton series and Dark Eden. It’s about a boy who likes to collect weird things and one day finds a stack of comics in the attic. He orders some ghost vision glasses that he sees in a a magazine and he begins to start seeing ghosts. It was a nice way to end the book and I’ll rate this one about 4 stars.

Overall the book was probably worth 4 stars and I’ll leave you to decide whether or not you really want to read this one. It lacked on the whole “thriller” factor, but a few of the stories were really enjoyable.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Lauren M

    December 16, 2011

    Hmm, I like the concept behind this anthology! It's cool when authors try to appeal to guys. It seems like the book was pretty good overall; I might give it a shot once I've finished reading the anthology I'm currently working on. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. Reply

    Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews

    December 17, 2011

    This one looks awesome! I need to read more anthologies.

  3. Reply

    Carol Tanzman

    December 17, 2011

    You have excellent taste! Walter Dean Meyers is a wonderful (and very prolific) writer–you should check out his books some time. Gennifer Cholodenko also has written terrific books, (Al Capone Does My Shirts)is one of my favorite middle grades. And I am always mad/disappointed at James Patterson!

  4. Reply


    December 23, 2011

    Oh I'm disappointed too!!