Life, love, and a few dead bodies. Just another day in LA.
One year ago, Alan and Stacey Navarro underwent a painful separation, leaving their daughter, Ruby, to live with her mom and an over-caffeinated Shih Tzu named Ed Wood. People split up all the time, and most kids might get over it, providing they can still Snapchat. Not Ruby. A bright, funny fourteen-year-old who loves shoes and horror movies, she is on an insane mission to get her parents back together. But she can’t do it alone. She needs her two best friends, her dog, an arrogant filmmaker, a bizarre collection of actors, and a chainsaw-wielding movie killer. What could possibly go wrong?
Chainsaw Honeymoon is “hysterical fiction” and like nothing you’ve ever read. There’s romance, drama, and a creepy talking doll called Mr. Shivers. Cutting a breakneck, jagged swath across present-day Los Angeles, this book hurls flaming balls of movies, music, horror, and comedy—like some kind of possessed pitching machine. Is this real life? Better ask Ruby.
For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Maddie Dawson, and Christopher Moore.
A satire of Los Angeles, of fractured relationships, movie-making, and growing up, Ramirez's novel features fantasies, sibling rivalries, a judgmental doll, and even a couple of comic deaths, as one story line morphs into another making the result often seem like one extended dream sequence. The characterizations are lively, though sometimes needlessly exaggerated, and the wildly improbable plot, which features the merging of the screenplay of a maudlin romance hopefully entitled Endless Honeymoon with another of a horror story called Chainsaw Chuck, is generally well controlled and cleverly sustained.
Date Submitted: September 10, 2016
In this tale of a daughter literally trying to scare her estranged parents back together, Steven Ramirez combines the horror/slasher film and literature genres with the light comedy/romance of a Cary Grant film. Both genres present challenges on their own. What is amazing about Chainsaw Honeymoon is how Ramirez surmounts both of these demands. Added to these accomplishments is his ability to present the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old girl. In the form of Ruby, Ramirez imparts to readers all the confusion brought about by puberty; the emotional neediness camouflaged by sarcasm; the obsession and continuing frustration with boys; and the bonds female teenagers forge with one another.
Whether your favorite form is surreal, tongue-in-cheek, word play or hysterical, you’ll find ample portions of each to keep you laughing. The pace is fast, told from several points of view, and full of surprises that make for an unforgettable read.”
The writing throughout the novel is sharp and smart, depicting the City of Angels like a key character, setting the stage for the plot to unravel, while also capturing some of the strangest sides of the film industry. Ruby is a precocious and fascinating narrator, and the supporting cast of friends, actors, and unexpected allies drive this novel forward.
Chainsaw Honeymoon is a clever concoction of horror, family, and romance gone awry. Mix in some comedy, and Ramirez has written a fantastic story sure to entertain all. It will especially entertain teenagers seeking a genre-blending book that respects the teenage perspective, especially when life gets confusing (and a little bloody).
Combining horror, comedy, and romance is a notoriously difficult feat, but Ramirez successfully creates a lively cast and an enthralling plot, filled with twists, laughs, and what ifs. Unusual combinations can often stumble when one element overtakes another, but not in this story. These genres complement one another in a seamless tale told from numerous perspectives.
Readers will fall in love with the intelligent but sarcastic voice of Ruby, a fourteen-year-old girl navigating her parents’ awkward breakup, her first crush (whether she knows it or not), and her appreciation for the macabre, especially when it comes to her machinima project starring her best creation, Chainsaw Chuck, a crazed killer who has his own way of disrupting her already chaotic life.
Ramirez also shares the thoughts from her heartbroken, desperate father; the determined-to-move-on mother; and side characters, who are causing even more problems for the broken family. All adults, more out of control than the imaginative Ruby.
Teaming up with some unusual comrades under even more unusual circumstances, Ruby sets out to trick her parents into getting back together—and lets her love of horror guide the way.
Whether you enjoy a heart-stopping reveal, a heartwarming life lesson, or you just want to laugh out loud, there is something in this horror-comedy for everyone.