Reviews

They Threw Us Away, by Daniel Kraus

addieneedsabook's review

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

shellykp42's review

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4.0

This book is not for sensitive hearts. It is shelved in the Juvenile section at my library but it is definitely better suited for teens and older readers. It is violent. There is conflict, self-harm, scary moments and even a monster. It has a creation story that, honestly, creeped me out. The teddies are frequently in peril and there is gross imagery (especially in the beginning when they are at the garbage dump). That being said...

When I first saw the cover of this book it gave me "the feels" before I even knew what it was about. Once I found out what it was about I was emotionally invested. Some discarded teddy bears wake up at the garbage dump. They don't know how they got there and they are on a quest to find children to adopt them so they can have what they call "Forever Sleep" which sounds a lot like death but.....they are happy about it? Like, that's their end goal.

Anyway, they go on a journey that is filled with violence and tragedy. Teddies die. Teddies are dismembered. One teddy rips their own eyes out. Like I said, NOT for sensitive readers. There is haunting imagery that will stay with me for a while. You really don't expect that from a book about teddy bears.

I still can't really decide how I feel about this book. It kept me reading because I needed to know what was happening. The ending made me angry but then I remembered that it's the start of a series so hopefully the next book will give some resolution to the thing I had issues with.

I gave it four stars because I was so invested in what was going on. I was rooting for these little bears the entire time. It's an adventure.

crazyforbooksandcoffee's review

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As an adult I would rate this 4.5 stars but feel this could be quite upsetting for middle graders so not sure I am happy to actually rate it it that.

thinkingingray's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

erine's review

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3.0

Friends, this book is dark. Like, really dark. The cover hints at a darkness of Teddies, but nonetheless it did not prepare me for the graphic teddy bear violence within. And if you just giggled, I don't think you're ready to read this.

I'm imagining that Kraus watched Toy Story 3 and was inspired by Lotso (the mob boss teddy that controls the lives of all the other toys), and then binged Stephen King's entire catalog of books and movies, and this is the inevitable result.

It was horrifying.

Buddy awakens in a landfill, and as he comes to terms with the dystopian world he is now in, he meets four other teddies. They work together to elude the Garbage Gulls and the Bulldozers, but they don't all make it. Those that do embark on a larger journey to the outside world, looking for Children who will love them and give them meaning, culminating in Forever Sleep (is this death? a spiritual death? a perpetual frozen state? no one knows). The hazards of the outside world are worse than those of the landfill: dead rats, fast cars, a teddy-shredding toy store employee, a teddy bear made of
SpoilerOTHER TEDDY BEAR BITS
, and stabby garbage spikes.

Underlying all of this action is a layer of mysticism. Reginald (the gray teddy) seems to have a spiritual connection to their communal origins. Some woman named Mother made a selection of original teddies, and then went commercial. At some point, the teddies went bad and there was some kind of teddy massacre. Buddy and his friends are some of the survivors (or were they perpetrators? so much is not known). Buddy himself hears a Voice in his head that speaks to his patent number, and Sugar (the pink teddy) moves through the world like a prophet, especially after
SpoilerSHE TEARS HER OWN EYES OFF
.

There is no good rating for this book. 5 stars for an imaginative and readable story, and for a sympathetic hero in Buddy. 0 stars for the very awkward lack-of-origin story that was not resolved by the end of the book. The terror factor was off the charts. In some ways this reminds me of [b:Scary Stories for Young Foxes|40864887|Scary Stories for Young Foxes|Christian McKay Heidicker|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1607191760l/40864887._SY75_.jpg|61763650] in its unconventional approach to horror, but without the clarity in the world-building.

This is what I get for grabbing a book because I really enjoyed the illustrator elsewhere. Rovina Cai did the illustrations for [b:Elatsoe|49089632|Elatsoe|Darcie Little Badger|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1581002562l/49089632._SX50_.jpg|71388826], which I loved. And I'm still impressed by the illustrations, but definitely shaken from this story.

aubdotcom's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

So good! So…meta. Characters are so likable. I laughed and cried and can’t wait to read more. Such a gripping story & world! 

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monsterofidaho's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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libraryoftori's review

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

4.0

ciannareider's review against another edition

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5.0

I really enjoyed this book, it’s written as a middle grade book, but it’s darker and more complex and wouldn’t be uninteresting to an adult or teenager. The story takes on a Toy Story vibe, and we meet a very special bear who’s on a journey. This is very much in the vibe of a bear that was forgotten and has to survive on his own. We stick with Buddy as he tries to understand where he is, how he got there, and how he has to move on. If you’re a fan of any book that brings inanimate objects to life, and tugs on your heartstrings, then this is for you. I think it will bring the teens and adults back to remembering their favorite stuffed animal, and where they are now. We make a unique connection with stuffed animals, so the bears we meet in this story, especially a few special ones, really just hit you in the feels. I really think that Kraus is a special author because few authors can transition well from the straight horror genre into something so general and interesting as a middle grade book, but he successfully does it and I will be sharing this book with readers of all ages in my life. I really enjoyed it.

samanthapearl's review against another edition

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4.0

Thank you to Daniel Kraus and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

They Threw Us Away is the first book in The Teddies Saga. It's a dark middle grade story about five teddies who wake up to find themselves at the dump. Buddy is the first teddy we meet and he becomes the leader of the small group of teddies. We soon meet Sunny, Horace, Sugar and Reginald and our adventure begins.

You would think a story about little teddies would be sweet, this one isn't. This book has a dark twist infused throughout a lost teddy bear story.

I have to say I really enjoyed it. There's nothing more delicious than a dark fairytale. It got a little "creepy" (I guess would be the best word) at times but it was really enjoyable. It was like being in the dark side of childhood. I wouldn't call it graphic but there are some teddy deathsq that are... let's just say not quick and painless. I would say it would be good for kids ages 9-12 but of course that depends on the child and what they are reading already.

You can find this and all my other reviews at https://fourmoonreviews.blogspot.com