[I received a physical copy for an honest review]
Furrington Teddies DON'T
-Get in Trouble
They Threw Us Away is a new middle grade novel by author Daniel Kraus. It follows 5 teddy bears who find themselves discarded at a trash dump and are determined to get back to their store shelves in order to be chosen by a child.
"Maybe that was the key to survival. Not to push fear away, but turn it into something else."
This story is not light and fluffy, it's dark and depressing. The story is told from the point of view of a teddy named Buddy. The teddy friends he finds in the dump are each unique. There's "girl scout" bear Sunny , "damaged merchandise" bear Sugar, Reginald the wise older bear, and the anxious and pessimistic bear Horace. The Bears have to survive vicious gulls, rats and man-made monsters like bulldozers and trucks.
"Buddy...they're not what teddies were built to do." He shook his head. "It makes me worry we're turning into things we weren't meant to be."
Daniel Kraus' writing is so descriptive and fantastic that the nasty trash heaps and filthy landscapes come to life in all their disgusting glory. The teddy bears' curiosity and feelings feel real as they struggle to survive the world. The story starts with 5 teddy bears with determination and hope but by the end they have each lost a good chunk of their innocence. Happy bears turn mean and cut-throat, not the type of teddies you want to bring home to your kids.
I really enjoyed They Threw Us Away by Daniel Kraus and I look forward to what other trails these teddy bears will have to endure in future books.
That said, it’s a pretty terrific book. The author carefully crafted character development, so you end up rooting for the bears as they grow and learn. The desire for mysterious “forever sleep” that is bestowed on teddies when they are hugged by a child is every teddy’s fervent wish. To see the characters grow beyond this simplistic desire was a treat.
The story within the story, about Proto and Mother, had just the right touch of mythology, allowing Buddy, the leader, to ponder the nature of existence and his place in the world. Looking forward to the next book!
Then shit got real! As the story progressed, the writing had made the teddies become much more like people. When terrible things happened to them, I was seeing it through my human eyes and it was horrifying.
And this book ended on a definite cliffhanger; I need to know what happens to the teddies next!
- 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
Graphic: Animal death, Body horror, and Violence
Moderate: Confinement, Death, Genocide, Grief, Injury/injury detail, Mental illness, Murder, and Self harm
Minor: Excrement and Toxic relationship
As for the book it just was not for me at all.
I wouldn’t say it is a middle grade book and I wouldn’t say it was YA so where you place this god only knows.
A very strange read…if you want to try it and see what Buddy gets up to then go ahead as it might well be the book for you.
I won’t be continuing with series and am glad I waited so long for the second book not to turn up and me to end up cancelling it.