Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower
Phoebe Lane is a lightning rod for monsters.She and her mom are forced to flee flesh-eating plants, radioactive ants, and blobs from outer space. They survive thanks to Phoebe’s dad—an invisible titan, whose giant eyes warn them where the next monster attack will take place.All Phoebe wants is to stop running from motel to motel and start living a monster-free life in New York or Paris. But when her mom mysteriously vanishes, Phoebe is left to fend for herself in small-town Pennybrooke.That's when Phoebe starts to transform…Christian McKay Heidicker, author of Cure for the Common Universe, returns with a book unlike any other, challenging perceived notions of beauty, identity, and what it means to be a monster.

Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower Details

TitleAttack of the 50 Foot Wallflower
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 11th, 2018
PublisherSimon Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781481499132
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction

Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower Review

  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    9/22/18I’m...not even sure. It’s like my brain shorted out so I need to figure out my glitch in the matrix before I could even think of writing a review. My Godzilla mentions did happen, too.2/7/2018:The author kindly confirmed to me that Godzilla is mentioned AND I AM REALLY AM THROWING MY ARMS ACROSS MY EYES AND SCREAMING BECAUSE MY BABY GODZILLA AND MY LOVE FOR HIM WILL BE MENTIONED IN EPIC YA BOOK FORMAT. I AM DONE. THANK YOU.Like, something before 2/7/2018:If this book doesn't have a mentio 9/22/18I’m...not even sure. It’s like my brain shorted out so I need to figure out my glitch in the matrix before I could even think of writing a review. My Godzilla mentions did happen, too.2/7/2018:The author kindly confirmed to me that Godzilla is mentioned AND I AM REALLY AM THROWING MY ARMS ACROSS MY EYES AND SCREAMING BECAUSE MY BABY GODZILLA AND MY LOVE FOR HIM WILL BE MENTIONED IN EPIC YA BOOK FORMAT. I AM DONE. THANK YOU.Like, something before 2/7/2018:If this book doesn't have a mention of Godzilla, I WILL SCREAM. But also, let's be honest, if it does mention Godzilla, I WILL BE SCREAMING. Let's just say I'm going to be screaming period in this book?
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  • Hannah Garrett
    January 1, 1970
    Phoebe is perfection! I love that I can relate to a 15 year old girl in the 1950s, as a thirty year old in, well, 2018. She’s self assured yet inhibited; open to new people yet cautious. The other characters are just as charming. Having read the book twice, I still can’t decide which character I love the most. They all feel like a little bit of home. Not to mention a completely fresh premise that took me by surprise every chapter. After 1980s nostalgia fatigue in pop culture, reading a novel tha Phoebe is perfection! I love that I can relate to a 15 year old girl in the 1950s, as a thirty year old in, well, 2018. She’s self assured yet inhibited; open to new people yet cautious. The other characters are just as charming. Having read the book twice, I still can’t decide which character I love the most. They all feel like a little bit of home. Not to mention a completely fresh premise that took me by surprise every chapter. After 1980s nostalgia fatigue in pop culture, reading a novel that immersed me in such a cool decade was super fun. Direct and indirect references to the time period had me googling subjects for more details. It’s silly, witty, strange, shocking, touching, and profoundly (somehow) current. I highly recommend it.
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  • Jared Aizad
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. There are a lot of things that I liked about this book but a few stood out in particular. First, I liked the ways in which the book pays homage to 50s monster movies. I have only seen a few of those movies, but the book has encouraged me to see more. Second, I liked the innovative use of different literary devices. In particular, the embedded graphic short story not only tied into the story in an important way but was also I was given an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. There are a lot of things that I liked about this book but a few stood out in particular. First, I liked the ways in which the book pays homage to 50s monster movies. I have only seen a few of those movies, but the book has encouraged me to see more. Second, I liked the innovative use of different literary devices. In particular, the embedded graphic short story not only tied into the story in an important way but was also valuable on its own. Third, the story not only reflects lots of research but is also very engaging. The story was also quite different from anything I’ve encountered before. I only read a few books per year and I am glad that this was one of them.
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  • Crowinator
    January 1, 1970
    I'm over the moon - here is another book for which I can apply the word "gonzo". This is amazing.
  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    This is basically an alternate version of the 50's where all the classic sci-fi movie monsters and tropes are real and will 'randomly' attack different cities and towns. Phoebe and her mom can see a huge man in the sky that 'warns' them where the attacks will be so they are lucky enough to get away, but most people aren't. This was a really fun book for the most part. There was maybe a little bit too much focus on the period-typical racism and sexism for me, but the people who were perpetuating This is basically an alternate version of the 50's where all the classic sci-fi movie monsters and tropes are real and will 'randomly' attack different cities and towns. Phoebe and her mom can see a huge man in the sky that 'warns' them where the attacks will be so they are lucky enough to get away, but most people aren't. This was a really fun book for the most part. There was maybe a little bit too much focus on the period-typical racism and sexism for me, but the people who were perpetuating those views were always shown as being bigoted and wrong by the narrative so it wasn't necessarily 'bad', I just wasn't always in the mood to deal with it I guess. The end got a little bit too meta for me as well, but I don't think there was really another good way to end it. Overall a really enjoyable read though and I appreciated that it combined a lot of fun 50s monsters with heroes who were a little bit more ...forward-thinking I guess.
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  • Max Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Thank You Netgalley for Providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest reviewAttack off the 50 Foot Wallflower has been on my TBR list for a while. And I was EXCITED. Like, so much so I was actually afraid to read this, because if you don't read it it can never fall short of your expectations. Right? And, in a way, it didn't. Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower was everything I wanted with this premise. This is a very, very smart book, but the longer I thought about the story as a whole Thank You Netgalley for Providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest reviewAttack off the 50 Foot Wallflower has been on my TBR list for a while. And I was EXCITED. Like, so much so I was actually afraid to read this, because if you don't read it it can never fall short of your expectations. Right? And, in a way, it didn't. Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower was everything I wanted with this premise. This is a very, very smart book, but the longer I thought about the story as a whole the more I found myself poking holes in the story. Which is sort of odd, because this book accomplishes everything it wanted to do with remarkable success.The crux of the this entire book, the premise itself, is a meta examination of media, specifically 1950/1960s monster movies, while also commenting on voyeurism, violence, and female agency. So everything that happens within the story furthers that exploration. For example, nearly all the men in the story either attempt or allude to wanting a sexual relationship with Phoebe, a trope in films where women can't go outside without the threat of rape, while Phoebe just is expected to grin and bare it. Stuff like that covers this book, and Heidicker did a really good job at painting the world Phoebe lives in. A picture-esque Pleasentville sorta town that is pretty racist and ugly when you look beneath the surface. There's also Shivers, monsters that appear as naturally as earthquakes or tornadoes and leave devastation in it's wake. Phoebe's mother, Loretta, was once carried to the top of the Chrysler Building by a Shiver, a giant ape named Ook and has since relied on her infamy to move her and Phoebe from motel to motel avoiding Shivers with their unique ability to see the man in the sky, who is also Phoebe's father.(view spoiler)[The main plot of the story is that when Phoebe's mother goes missing, she accidentally unearths a shadowy organization hidden in the desert that is fully aware of Phoebe's father and works tirelessly to keep his interest less he either changes the channel or turns the TV off. The reveal that Phoebe is more or less a character in a TV show is not necessarily a spoiler, but what is a spoiler is how the novel progresses. Rather then be a sort of search for her mother, it then becomes a literal monster movie, with the organization zapping Phoebe so she grows at an alarming rate, hoping that the destruction she causes will keep her father sated for months. The exploration of violence and voyeurism is very well done here, as it is believe that only violence and conveniently attractive women can keep his interest. And I really appreciated Heidicker leaning into the sort of ridiculousness that those cheesy 1950s movies are known for. Giant ant fights, ridiculous screams, and all that fun stuff was dripping from every page.But, where this book looses me is in two places. The first is Beth, a side character that is implied to be from outside the TV. She's aware of movie monsters and tropes, but I could not for the life of me understand her purpose. Yeah, she was there, but nothing about her is explained. How did she get there? Why come? Is Phoebe's story a real thing or just another movie? Is the man in the sky a real person watching a TV or is it some overarching symbolic theme that's going over my head? Is she meant to be an interest from the future, putting their modern ideas into period pieces? She raised more questions then answered and just thought that particular reveal could have been cut.The other is Phoebe herself. Heidicker did almost too good of a job at exploring the lack of female agency in media. Phoebe is capable, shown very early on in the book, but by the time she becomes gargantuan she just...doesn't do anything. And it was frustrating because there's all these themes and reasons that she has for not doing anything, doesn't want to hurt people, not be a monster, that be a gentle woman mentality that exists within her due to an oppressive culture. But the entire time I couldn't help thinking "you are 50 feet tall. Slap some bitches and get shit done." Which is an issue because that was at the forefront of my mind whenever Phoebe encountered a very...let's just say human problem. The fact is, if Phoebe smashed a few things she'd get stuff done and reach her goals. But she never did because the story and the themes wouldn't let her. Her actions were hindered because the plot demanded it not because of her as a character. (hide spoiler)]Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower is a lot of fun and I would very much recommend it to people looking for something a little kooky, a little crazy, and a whole lotta brains. But, personally, the issues the book raised and the handicaps it put on the characters for the sake of story were enough to shake my rating.
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  • Dallin Cerva
    January 1, 1970
    Being a fan of Heidicker's first novel, Cure for the Common Universe, excitement to delve into his next was not sparse. Heidicker has done it again. He's the real deal. This book is better, more inventive, and more "out there" than, not just his first book, but most books on that market!All gushing aside, the setting for this new story is a world that is both terrifying and lovely, you want to be in it, and yet, you're glad you're not. The threats are horrific, fascinating, and energizing... the Being a fan of Heidicker's first novel, Cure for the Common Universe, excitement to delve into his next was not sparse. Heidicker has done it again. He's the real deal. This book is better, more inventive, and more "out there" than, not just his first book, but most books on that market!All gushing aside, the setting for this new story is a world that is both terrifying and lovely, you want to be in it, and yet, you're glad you're not. The threats are horrific, fascinating, and energizing... they feel like the all too familiar "boss battles" from one's favorite video game... ironic that this one isn't about video games! If you want a book that begins and ends in the way you expect, then this isn't for you.
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  • Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
    January 1, 1970
    I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE ASAP!
  • Octavia
    January 1, 1970
    I had to DNF this one. I picked it up because I thought it would be a fun, light read that would help me get out of my reading slump. But a few pages in the MC casually mentions walking past a sign that said "No Coloreds"....which in itself isn't the issue if you're just trying to reference the time period. But the MC had literally JUST mentioned puddle skirts, a malt shop, and people standing in front of an appliance store with TV's in the window. Pretty sure I pieced together what era we're in I had to DNF this one. I picked it up because I thought it would be a fun, light read that would help me get out of my reading slump. But a few pages in the MC casually mentions walking past a sign that said "No Coloreds"....which in itself isn't the issue if you're just trying to reference the time period. But the MC had literally JUST mentioned puddle skirts, a malt shop, and people standing in front of an appliance store with TV's in the window. Pretty sure I pieced together what era we're in.That might sound petty but...that's my reason. So there.
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  • Jordan Finch
    January 1, 1970
    Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower is a unique book, with a fascinating universe, likable characters, and a number of fun homages to 50s monster movies.Phoebe Lane is the girl with the famous mother: Loretta Lane, the woman who was once abducted by a giant ape and dragged to the top of the Chrysler Building. She also has a famous father, although Phoebe is one of only a handful of people who can see him. Phoebe's father is a giant living in the sky, and it's his gaze that keeps Phoebe and her moth Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower is a unique book, with a fascinating universe, likable characters, and a number of fun homages to 50s monster movies.Phoebe Lane is the girl with the famous mother: Loretta Lane, the woman who was once abducted by a giant ape and dragged to the top of the Chrysler Building. She also has a famous father, although Phoebe is one of only a handful of people who can see him. Phoebe's father is a giant living in the sky, and it's his gaze that keeps Phoebe and her mother one step ahead of the Shivers, the variety of horrible monsters that attack humanity. Her unusual upbringing has kept her from being a normal teenage girl, but her mother's sudden disappearance pushes Phoebe further from normal in her search for answers. And that's before she begins to grow...While Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower is certainly a fun read, there are enough bit and pieces that don't seem to make sense and are left open-ended that I walked away from this book with a bit of a frown. I did really enjoy Phoebe as the main character. She's sassy and straightforward, and she knows how to handle herself; her life has always revolved around monsters, and she's not afraid to speak up when that good ol' 1950s sexism comes into play. That being said, although the situation she gets herself thrown into is quite fun, there was too much background left unexplained to let myself just enjoy the shenanigans. Between the logistics of Phoebe's existence (actually, I think that one might actually be better left alone) and the presence of Beth (how did she get into the TV world?), I felt like I was missing something, and not in a fun "maybe we'll get a prequel or sequel" way.The ending does, however, does leave some smaller plot threads dangling, and I wonder if Heidicker will follow up on this book. It does have a unique premise, and the 1950s monster movie world is kind of fun, but I don't know that I really care enough about Phoebe and her friends to read another book even if one is released.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    In 1950’s America Phoebe Lane and her mother Loretta travel with carnivals, playing on the fame from her mother’s abduction by a giant ape called ‘Ook’. (This may just be a reference to something.) Currently the carnival is in the town of Pennybrooke.They are able to see the image of Phoebe’s father in the sky, which alerts them to the events called ‘Shivers’ when the aliens and monsters attack small towns, causing them to constantly be on the move. But when Phoebe returns to their hotel room, h In 1950’s America Phoebe Lane and her mother Loretta travel with carnivals, playing on the fame from her mother’s abduction by a giant ape called ‘Ook’. (This may just be a reference to something.) Currently the carnival is in the town of Pennybrooke.They are able to see the image of Phoebe’s father in the sky, which alerts them to the events called ‘Shivers’ when the aliens and monsters attack small towns, causing them to constantly be on the move. But when Phoebe returns to their hotel room, her mother has gone missing and she must step up to playing a lead role in her own narrative…Okay, this is obviously playing around with the tropes of 1950’s science fiction and horror movies. One character appears from a notorious 1950’s work (you’ll realise it even if you don’t spot the name, straight away) . The writer is clearly having a lot of fun with playing around with the tropes and the conventions also referring to the horror comics of the time. But the writer also realises that he can not just go back to presenting an idealised world, referring to the attitudes and prejudices of the time that get glossed over. The story keeps referring to the people who get caught in the crossfire of these monster attacks. Phoebe isn’t happy with her assigned options and keeps trying to move out of them, including being creeped on by men. Then she is faced with the choice of becoming the monster or the victim unless she finds another way. I realise that I’m not the target age for this, but would have enjoyed it when I was. A fun fan tribute and examination of 1950’s monster movies with an engaging heroine.
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  • Jo Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first time I've read a book by Christian McKay Heidicker. Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower was very interesting. Although I did have a hard time with size and proportions. I cant wrap my brain around the idea of 50ft tall. How small would something have to be to make me feel 50 ft tall? I'd think half an inch since I'm 5'2" but then if I grabbed something that was half an inch and it was squishy I'd probably accidentally squish it.
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  • Beittany
    January 1, 1970
    Phoebe is quite a force! Surviving teenage-hood, discovering her roots, and oh yeah...fighting monsters...this story has all you could want from a strong female lead. The writing is on point and I am reminded of the classic horror movies that came before. Very enjoyable and a good reminder that the ability to be lovely comes in all shapes and sizes.
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  • Cheryl McKay
    January 1, 1970
    Throw Your Arm Across Your Eyes and Scream is a great blend of 1950's nostalgia with detailed character development. In spite of dealing with era related sexism, Phoebe is able to grow into her challenges. The story is more enjoyable as it is not predictable.
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  • Emily Donaldson
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't really know what to expect when I started this book. What I got was a totally immersive experience with Easter Eggs throughout (without being heavy handed). Now I have to go watch a bunch of 1950's horror.
  • Jac
    January 1, 1970
    Highly recommend! I especially loved the main character—a great female lead that a span of ages will find relatable.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy for an honest review from Netgalley. This book is definitely nothing like anything I have ever read before. I don't know what how to describe it without spoiling it but I couldn't wait to see what happened next. It's black and white horror movies meets Pleasantville. I would give this book 3.5 stars.
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