Spaghetti Head by Sarah Tyley
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
So a funny thing happened one day while perusing my favorite book lover’s Facebook group. On Fridays, any member in the group can self promote by sharing links to their blogs, authors can advocate for their books, etc. I happened to share a couple of blog posts that week and Sarah Tyley commented saying that she really liked the style of the blog but wondered if I ever gave books 5 star reviews. Now let me start by saying, I’m somewhat of a tough critic. I generally need a book to really “wow” me to give it 5 stars. As a manager, I tend to think of the star system as similar to the employee evaluations I dole out every year. 4 stars = fully meets expectations. 5 stars = exceeds expectations. So imagine my surprise when Sarah asked if she could take the “5 star challenge,” and give her book, Spaghetti Head, a read. I happily obliged.
The story is set 100 years in the future in a post-apocalyptic world, and revolves around the life of Nell, a quirky gal who struggles with relationships, but above all struggles with the negativity of her (literal) inner voice. When Nell wins The Award, an “honor” bestowed upon those who are selected to assist in re-population of the Earth, she has two options: accept and get pregnant, or refuse and be reallocated.
Most of the book focuses on Nell fighting her inner demons. The title Spaghetti Head refers to the fact that Nell has “scrambled spaghetti” up in her noggin and needs to straighten it out. Sarah Tyley plays around with the concept of psychotherapy in a futuristic world, which was fascinating. The creative techniques and modern technologies described throughout the novel were thought provoking (i.e. could this ever happen 100 years from now?). The addition of a modern day (excuse me, “future day”) love story puts the icing on the cake.
So let me just say, if I could rate it solely on creativity, it would get 5 stars all the way!! Sarah knocked it out of the park with her imagination. There were so many unique and fantastic details throughout the story ranging from the futuristic timeline to the modern gizmos and gadgets at the characters’ disposal. I loved taking a break from reality and jumping into Sarah’s world. When it comes to the actual writing of the book, I would probably give it 4 stars. The writing was good and kept me engaged from beginning to end, but it had more of a young adult feel to it/may have been a little less sophisticated than what I was hoping. So all in all, if Goodreads would allow me to give 4.5 stars I would, but since it won’t, in this instance I will round up! 5 star challenge accomplished!
For any fans of Divergent or the Hunger Games, this would probably be up your alley. It has a very dysptopian/young adult feel and would jive well with readers that enjoy the aforementioned titles.
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