Book Review: Clown in a Cornfield (Clown in a Cornfield #1)


Hello Readers!

How’s life treating ya? Good I hope! With the grad school semester over with, skies are blue on my end. Unfortunately, I’m in something of a reading slump. For some reason, everything I’m picking up just doesn’t seem to jibe with me.

So I scavenged through my TBR and found something I wanted to try out, Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare.

Having never read anything by this author, I didn’t know much about this story other than rave reviews I’d seen from social media. Since I was in a slump, I figured why not try it out?

Did this novel cure me of my reading slump? Keep on reading for the review!




Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.



***Brief disclosure***

I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase. 


The Review

DNF @ 44%

I really wanted to like this book, but frankly I was so underwhelmed that I had to stop myself just under halfway through.

In a nutshell, this book is about a young girl named Quinn. After her mother dies, she and her dad move to a small town where she struggles to fit in. As a local holiday called Founder’s Day looms, Quinn follows her rebellious new friends from school along a dark path.

Okay, so I was really excited about this book because of the premise. Small town shenanigans, a scary clown, and an underlying sense of mystery had me curious where this book would lead me. Unfortunately it never really took off for me.

I think the characters are what really killed it for me. No one was all that likeable. Quinn is a follower, and while I get her reserved nature has to deal with her trauma, I just couldn’t get myself to root for her when she made poor decisions. The rebellious friends she makes (if you can even call them that) don’t really have a reason to include her in their escapades but do so anyways, and they felt two-dimensional without any real depth. I would’ve liked to see some more admirable traits in all of them. Teens are not this awful in real life, and I think Cesare really missed the mark here.

Even the townfolk were pretty unlikeable, specifically the mayor and the sheriff.

I also had trouble understanding what had happened in the past in this city. and its lore It was referenced several times, but conversations were so cryptic that it was too hard to understand. Also, the pace was way too slow for a horror read. The chapters focus far too much on unimportant high school happenings, even for a YA theme. I kept plugging along and around a third of the way through things do finally pick up, but by that point I was already so disengaged I honestly didn’t care what happened to the characters.

If you are hellbent on trying this book, knock yourself out, but I can’t recommend it given the negativity towards teens in general and the slow pacing.


That’s A Wrap!

Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!

Have a great day!


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