017: Strungballs by Mike Russell


Title: Strungballs
Author: Mike Russell
Stars: ★★★★☆

What are Strungballs?

Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out… but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believe in when he embarks upon a journey that will reveal the astonishing secrets hidden by the red balls on white strings known only as… Strungballs.

Remember: Once a Strungball is inserted it must never be removed.


Honest review given in exchange for book!

This might be the strangest book I’ve ever read and I’m not sure where to even begin in reviewing it.

I didn’t realise how short this novella was and I liked that it was quick and easy to read.

I also really liked the worldbuilding aspect of the 999 rooms in the city that loop into a circle. Another aspect that I liked was how everything was sort of timed, e.g. “At 17:52, on the 15th day of the 999th year…” which was weird at first but it fit with the story and gave the feeling of a weird dystopia, such as with the line, “Sydney’s mother had been standing in this position, smiling and pointing, for 34 minutes and 17 seconds, waiting for her husband to return home.

Sydney was a good character too and I felt my heart break for him when the two boys started being awful to him but it lead to us meeting Albert, who was definitely my favourite character.

I also liked the twist and turns about the Others. The book wasn’t afraid to get a bit dark either.

After chapter seven I got really really confused and even after a reread I’m still not 100% sure I understand what happened? I think I didn’t realise just how strange it was.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I would read it again. I would recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of strange tales.

I would like to say thank you to Jay, the StrangeBooks secretary, for the opportunity to read this book! 🙂

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