Living Dolls by Marshall Ian Key


Paranormal, Contemporary

Reviewed by Patrice F.




One day, eighteen-year-old Jason finds a box.  Inside there’s two Barbie sized dolls and pictures.  He’s equally puzzled by the strange photos of his grandfather posing with famous female celebrities.  Then he stumbles upon the secret.  The dolls can become life-sized women capable of becoming anyone and fulfilling any fantasy.  Soon Jason’s using the dolls in ways he never imagined: to assist his depressed teacher and regain back a friend’s self-respect.  Maybe just maybe, if his luck and confidence hold out, he’ll eventually win the girl he loves.

Living Dolls is a highly entertaining coming of age story that’ll make you dismiss the idea that boys shouldn’t play with dolls.  Jason’s smart, funny, and compassionate, a very likeable young man who’s pretty wise when he isn’t wisecracking.  In typical teen fashion, he’s horny but never heartless.  With each passing chapter, he grew on me more and more.  The surprises are the kinds from teen flicks like Weird Science, American Pie, without coming off as clichéd.  The young women are well rounded, nicely developed characters that added dimension and fun to the plot.  As for the dolls, well, I was grateful that they were dolls yet proved to be more than what I initially expected.  The dolls are creatively utilized in a variety of ways (and not just by Jason) that brought more twists to the storyline.  I wasn’t certain what to expect when I snatched up this book.  I’m very glad I always keep an open mind because this author proved to be fun and downright inventive.


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