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Brain Parasites, FOR KIDS!

In my novel: Your Brain Has Fleas, slimy green googly-eyed brain parasites called Brain Fleas are invading the skulls of townspeople. The town of Toad’s Butt, TN is gripped by crisis. Why did I write such a dark premise for young adults? Because their real lives will be much darker, if things don’t change. 

The tone of YBHF is darkly comic, but actively anti-nihilist. Tragedy and oppression are central to the world, but the characters are not hopeless. I have not yet lost hope that we can repair the damage done to the world by hyper-polluting corporations and a legislative system hobbled by bad actors, among other issues. I think hope should be clung to, like a rubber duck in a shipwreck. The characters in this book fight back against apathy. 

My book is fictional, but for a teen in today’s America, the dangers depicted are all too real. Misinformation has been weaponized against our citizenry, and to great effect: We have lost some measure of the legitimacy of our electoral system through sown doubt. Bombastic pseudo-intellectuals have been allowed to hijack national discourse and drum up outrage against any hint of progressivism or general empathy. So easily, we get distracted and diverted from important matters. Women are denied healthcare like abortion services. It’s worse than that, even. In Tennessee, its a felony to provide abortion services in many cases. A dangerous and broken world like this needs a dangerous and broken hero.

The protagonist of YBHF is Victory Mission. Inside her skull is something that’s sinking tendrils into her cerebellum. It is an internet-enabled microprocessor chip with a personality. The AI controlling the chip is named KIP- which stands for Knowledge Is Power. YBHF makes a finer distinction on that concept. Here’s the truth: knowledge is no longer equivalent to power in the age of internet obfuscation. So, although the book is very silly and strange, there’s a point to all the strangeness. Except the giant robot. There’s no metaphor or anything there. He’s just a giant robot. 

The internet has truly transformed our minds. The informational input has been dialed up. Reality has been faded out slowly and augmented liberally. Modern readers are fighting through a flood of irrelevancy and drivel. In the interest of not contributing to that drivel flood, I’ve attempted to lace my absurd little book with truth. Non-fiction tidbits of science trivia and esoteric history provide real-world stakes. Knowledge doesn’t just include facts and information, though. Awareness is the most essential aspect of knowledge.

Victory Mission is a young person who thinks that she knows most everything. She graduated high school early, after all. Her new awareness of the lurking monstrosities in Toad’s Butt changes her mind. The Brain Fleas synthesize silliness and horror, wiggling lopsided googly eyes at you from darkened corners. Just like dealing with the impending doom of climate change, most people are perfectly happy to leave the Fleas unnoticed. As long as one has an endlessly amusing phone, there is nothing worthwhile to fear. Ignorance is bliss, they say. 

Of course, knowing a secret feels pretty great, too. And there are lots of secrets for Victory to uncover. The chambers of the UnderMall tunnel complex are rife with eccentricity. This book is jam-packed without feeling jumbled. The action will keep you on the edge of your seat, unless you read it while standing up. Expect darkness if you pick up YBHF, but don’t be surprised if you giggle, too.

The darkness of the future is the territory that young people will map out and explore. This book is by no means a guide for that. It is a very goofy book, but it does come with substance included (personal interpretations sold separately). The salient messages are subtly reinforced meditations on ethical dilemmas, mental health awareness, and found family dynamics. I have no hesitation in telling you that politics plays a big role, as well. I’ll almost certainly be accused of that most terrible of conditions, the dreaded “wokeness”. 

I wrote a young adult novel about brain parasites, and the truth is that it’s a little bit autobiographical. Victory feels that she is too strange to fit into the world, but she finds out that the world is stranger than she thought. You might feel similarly if you pick up Your Brain Has Fleas. Consider carefully, though. You might never be the same afterwards. 

Check out more from Sean Monett:


FB Sean Monett (page)
Nonsense Poetry Comics


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