Title: Clown in a Cornfield
Author: Adam Cesare
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Horror
Book format: Pre-publication proof/arc of hardback
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Description: In Adam Cesare’s terrifying young adult debut, Quinn Maybrook finds herself caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress—that just may cost her life.
Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half.
On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

*Free copy provded by publisher for review…

Review:  After growing up in the city of Philadelphia, Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to the small town of Kettle Springs. But while Quinn gets to know some of the teenagers at her school, it becomes clear that there’s a divide between them and many of the older residents of the town. While the teenagers annoy the adults with everything they do, it isn’t long before the town’s mascot, a clown, decides to take some deadly revenge.

This book is so brilliant, I read almost the entire book in one day! At first Quinn has to get used to the different small town feel of Kettle Springs. It has its problems, and it isn’t long before Quinn finds herself involved with the teens who many of the adults dislike. Soon ends up invited to a party, but things don’t go as planned and the party ends with an uninvited guest.  I really have enjoyed reading this, it really felt like I was watching a horror movie. Although it did take me a bit of time to warm to the story at first, getting to know all the characters and the town of Kettle Springs, it wasn’t long before I found myself gripped, and desperately turning the pages to see what would happen next.

The story changes perspective between several different characters but is easy to read throughout, and each new chapter or section just felt like another scene of a movie. Although not much seems to be happening at first, there are little events that occur, small mentions of things, that give the whole town an eerie vibe from the start. There isn’t so much horror at the beginning but rather, a good build up of the eerie atmosphere which then plays out brilliantly when the real horror action starts. I don’t want to give the story away but I will say that this book definitely feels like it has a good amount of gruesome horror in it. There are some pretty vivid descriptions of what happens to some characters and I found myself gasping and cringing at the certain moments in the story.

The book has a good fast pace especially once the party begins and although there were some moments I expected to happen, typical things you’d expect from any horror story, there were others that actually shocked me. The whole book just feels like a perfect horror story with quite a few deaths and many of them being quite gruesome. The ending is really good, with some twists I just didn’t see coming and although the ending is very satisfying with everything concluding well, there is an epilogue which puts you back on edge just as you thought you could relax at the end. It’s a really good ending though and one I liked!

There are quite a few gory deaths and descriptions, mentions of killings which might not be suitable for more sensitive or younger readers, and there’s also some use of the f and s swear word, so I’d suggest this is probably more suited to older teens or those who aren’t so sensitive.  The story is really good and if you don’t mind a few good shocks and some gruesome deaths along the way then this is a great book and one I’d recommend.

Horror isn’t for everyone but if you like a good story to freak you out then this one is definitely worth checking out, although, like me, you may have a permanent aversion to corn fields and clowns after reading this!!


What do you think of this book?  Do you like horror novels or movies?  How do you feel about clowns or cornfields?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂