John Brhel – Resurrection High: A Black Comedy Review

Genre: Coming of Age
Length: 154 Pages
Publisher: Cemetery Gates Media
Release date: June 16, 2018
Synopsis:  Resurrection High is like Carrie, but without the telekinetic powers; like Donnie Darko, without the time travel; like The Karate Kid, but our protagonist is training in poetry. A subversive, spooky tale set in the days when America Online, The Smashing Pumpkins, and The X-Files reigned supreme..

At Lestershire High, Eric Verlaine is seen as a freak, even by alt 90s standards. His best friend is dead, his only living friend is tied up with a girl, and a group of vile bullies make his time at school unbearable. Eric would rather spend his days in the local cemetery than go to school, or even home, where he is ignored by his mother and abused by his stepfather. He’s planning one last adventure with his deceased pal, an exhumation to get at the small safe in his friend’s casket, the contents of which Eric believes will provide some form of closure. After visiting the grave of his friend one evening, Eric is shown a curious monument to a trio of artists who died mysteriously a century prior, sparking an investigation into his town’s unsavory past.

Resurrection High is a nostalgic, darkly comic story of a teenager finding a passion for life after insurmountable loss.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

This book was filled with references to Mentos in a Foo Fighters video, N64 Controllers, and the Ponderosa steakhouse, which made Resurrection High an extremely fun read. I hadn’t thought about the ‘90’s this much in a long time. It was fun to see how many call backs could be weaved into the story. This went on throughout and it’s a fun flash to the past. It felt like the authors had a contest to see how many ‘90’s references they could include, and it gave the story a great amount of comic relief.

A lot of the story dealt with Bryan and Eric mourning the death of their high school friend, Andy. But, Resurrection High was more than a kid dealing with losing a friend, it was a coming of age tale. Eric was a struggling teen who lost his best friend, and he had to learn to navigate high school without him. The authors did an excellent job of capturing that time when we all struggled, and the mood and feel were right there. It transported me right back to my days in school and I forgot how much I hated most of it.

The ability to write Eric as an awkward kid who was bullied and constantly on edge was very well done. Every ounce of his teen anxiety was right there to experience. I enjoyed his trials and tribulations, and finally coming out on top. This was a great tale of boy meets girl and realizing overcoming your fears and insecurities is possible. I’ve read many of the books from these guys, and while the others were in the horror, this was very enjoyable, and I dug it.

Link to purchase Resurrection High

John Brhel, biography

Hi. My name is John Brhel. I write fantastical stories about demons, ghosts, magicians, and regular ol’ Joes. I’m the co-author of two books, Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop and Tales From Valleyview Cemetery, with my good friend Joe Sullivan. With Joe, I am also a co-founder of Cemetery Gates Media, a publisher of rich fantasy and horror stories. I am currently working on new stories with Joe, as well as my own novel.

When I’m not writing fiction, I work full-time as a communications manager at Binghamton University, where I manage social media, publish press releases, write magazine articles, and a whole bunch more. I also use all of these same skills as a freelance copywriter, as which I have experience writing content for everything from consulting firms to tech startups to rock bands and more.


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