The Monster on the Road Is Me by J.P. Romney

The Monster on the Road Is Me

It starts with the crows. When you see them, you know he s found you.Koda Okita is a high school student in modern-day Japan who isn't very popular. He suffers from narcolepsy and has to wear a watermelon-sized helmet to protect his head in case he falls. But Koda couldn't care less about his low social standing. He is content with taking long bike rides and hanging out in the convenience store parking lot with his school-dropout friend, Haru.But...

Details The Monster on the Road Is Me

TitleThe Monster on the Road Is Me
Release DateAug 30th, 2016
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Horror, Cultural, Japan, Paranormal, Fiction, Magical Realism

Reviews The Monster on the Road Is Me

  • Taylor Knight
    I'd never seen or heard of this book before I stumbled across it in a Barnes and Noble. The cover caught my eye but it was the title that made me pick it up. I read a couple of pages and I bought it right away. I loved the writing and the concept was original. I loved that this book took place in Japan and I thought the Japanese mythology was really interesting. I really liked Koda and he often had me laughing. Most of the time when the synopsis'...
  • ダンカン
    Myths, Supernatural and Japanese Monsters I love Japanese culture and myths. Especially when it comes to the supernatural. Adding weirdness and you have a whole lot of interesting story about demonic monsters and trolls that haunts a small town. The Monster on the Road Is Me is a story of a fifteen year old boy name Koda Okita, a son of a shiitake (mushroom) farmer who happens to be a narcoleptic that he needs to wear a big helmet to protect hims...
  • Molly
    Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this for review!Guys this book was FANTASTIC. It's on my list of "authentic books set in Japan". (For those of you just tuning in, I lived in Japan for seven years.) The author DID live in Japan, so I went into this with high hopes. At first I thought it was going to fall prey to the "I know a lot about Japan let me show off my superior knowledge and Japanese skills" but that soon fell to t...
  • Danielle N
    The Monster on the Road is in incredibly eccentric tale full Japanese culture wrapped up in non-stop dark humor. The main character Koda easily made his way into my heart, and I could not put this down. I still struggle with the fact that this is a debut novel! I have never experienced anything like this and I doubt I will again. Full review here.
  • AL
    (Remember: 1 star = personally offensive. I'm probably a bit meaner than this book deserves.)So I saw this book in Kinokunya, and I liked the cover and blurb and the Japanese setting, so I thought I'd check it out.BIG mistake. I made it about 5% in, before I had to drop it. Not even the plot or whatever. There was waYY too much exposition on some random emperor and other spiritual nonsense which bored me out of my mind, and the narrator's sassine...
  • Limeminearia
    School Library JournalROMNEY, J.P. The Monster on the Road Is Me. 336p. ebook available. Farrar. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374316549.Gr 7 Up—Koda Okita may be a social outcast, but he has wit and charm to spare. Sure, he's the son of shitake mushroom farmers and must wear a giant helmet to protect himself during narcoleptic falls, but there's something special about him. Or at least that's what Moya, a mysterious new girl at school, keeps ...
  • Debbie Tanner
    This is one of the strangest books I've ever read and I can't stop thinking about it. One of the things that really put me off was the amount of Japanese language words that are in the book. It requires a fair amount of guessing what the words mean (unless you already know Japanese, which I do not) however, the characters in the book are so interesting and so compelling and so hilarious, it's really worth the effort. It's about a 15 year old name...
  • DKB
    While designated as a YA novel, this book is not just for the younger reader. The writing is clever, sophisticated, disarming, and funny all at the same time. Set in Japan and drawing on Japanese mythology, the novel tells the story of Koda, a teenager with the unfortunate life challenge of narcolepsy brought on by stress so his parents make him wear a pretty gigantic helmet. You can see the YA appeal as most can emphasize with the young protagon...
  • Kenya Reviews Stuff (ReviewsMayVary)
    I read about 130 pages. I think the writing is good; it's clever and well constructed. The story is interesting and the characters are good. I just wasn't able to get into the book right away and now it feels forced. I actually think it might be the use of italicized Japanese throughout. It's very distracting for me, though I think others might find it a cultural strength of the book. So, I read the last two chapters because I wanted to know how ...
  • Swizzle
    As someone with a background in Japanese studies, I'm glad that books with Japanese settings and characters are finally taking off as publishing material. It's a culture with a lot of great storytelling potential, with plenty of mythical creatures and heroes to bring life to the pages.First off, I would like to praise the attention to detail. This was clearly a labor of love and you can feel Romney's experiences living in the Japanese countryside...
  • Megan
    Uhh, so here's the scoop. This book had a good concept, but the execution fell way short for me. In a multitude of ways. Damn, I really need to stop buying YA books.1) Italicized wordsSo, the author obviously has an extensive knowledge of Japanese culture and language. Throughout the book, there are hundreds of italicized words that are Japanese words. However, most of them are never explained. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to sit by ...
  • Angela
    It took me a while to get into this book, but I did end up liking it. It reminded me of my teen years, playing Persona JRPGs...this is basically a Persona game in novel form. Japanese high school, weird main character with hidden powers, interactions with supernatural creatures, humour, and even a final boss fight.I can't decide whether or not I enjoyed the Japanese setting. Obviously, the story would be completely different without references to...
  • Katie O
    I loved this book so much that I read it in one day!! I fell in love with Romney's writing style, with its not-so-subtle sarcasm, reflected in varying ways in different characters. My favorite part overall though was how Romney so accurately captures Japanese culture and approaches difficult issues, like suicide, mental illness, and overwork. I firmly believe that one of the best ways to look at these issues is through the lens of magical realism...
  • Deborah Takahashi
    If you’re a fan of Japanese mythology than you will love what’s going on in this story! The dialogue is hysterical and there is quite a bit of action. I will say it moves like a manga so you’ll get though this book quickly. I will say that the spattering I’d Japanese words can throw off the rhythm of the book, it only makes sense as the author taught English in Japan for a whole so, if you know the words, great! If not, you will learn som...
  • Hannah
    This book was really interesting because of all the characters and the fact that it was based on old Japanese stories. The plot is cool but it was kinda hard to understand. The author uses a lot of Japanese words in the book and half the time doesn't even translate what it means. It was annoying to have to look up the translation. Anyways, the main character, a boy, Koda, who has narcolepsy, keeps falling asleep and so it's confusing when he star...
  • Elisa
    I wasn't sure what to expect and really enjoyed the blend of Japanese myth, culture and story. Our hero is easy to relate to as a high school student and all around oddball, and pretty dang funny. He has a quirky way of seeing the world, and there are some strange characters in this town. The Japanese had enough context to get an idea of what was being said and was fun to puzzle through.
  • Erin Newton
    This book is funny, smart, and unique. The intro grabbed me and the humor had me laughing on almost every page. The humor did keep the same pace or frequency through the whole book which was disappointing. There are a lot of Japanese words and names in this story which makes it a little hard to follow. Enjoyable but with some drawbacks.
  • Tiffany
    Not as scary as I was hoping for it to be. It is sort of a much tamer version of Cemetery Boys (Brewer). Good for Middle Schoolers looking for a creepy, paranormal story laced with humor and just a hint of romance.
  • Jeremy
    The unusual story is listed as YA but as an adult I found it very enjoyable. The plot and setting are unique and interesting, and the main character is funny and sarcastic. I enjoyed this very much.Recommended.
  • Jonathan
    A thrilling, thoughtful, thoroughly terrifying novel about heroism, death, and darkness. Gripping and satisfying.
  • Karen Anderson
    I really enjoyed the wit and dark humor, and the mythology!
  • emrys black
    My favorite book. This combined everything I love: fantasy, mythology, interesting teen male protagonist, foxes, and Japan.
  • Hannah Mullen
    DNF. Didn’t get the plot.
  • Serina
    Brilliantly done.
  • Kate
    The cover of this book is gorgeous and I love the title, which I think is why I picked it up. I liked the voice of our protagonist, he was charming and dorky. I didn't even hate the love story - it was cute and didn't overshadow the plot which was about supernatural demons exacting revenge on people. Good stuff.
  • Bruce Gargoyle
    I received a copy of this title from PanMacmillan Australia for review.A Top Book of 2016 pick!Ten Second Synopsis:When people begin committing suicide at Koda's school in bizarre fashion, Koda initially doesn't think it has much to do with him...until a mysterious girl keeps popping into his life and his narcoleptic attacks become more frequent..and much more vivid.Given that this is a Japanese story written by an American author, it would be re...
  • Dulcie_21
    This book is AMAZING
  • That One Librarian
    This was an interesting book, to be sure. The Monster in the Road Is Me is the debut work of author J.P. Romney (who also works on the Biblioclast Podcast). Romney spent some time in Japan teaching, which clearly had a profound impact on him. Romney takes this experience and delves into Japanese folklore - something that is becoming quite a trend in middle grade and young adult fiction - with the story of Koda. Koda is a fifteen year old boy who ...
  • Kara
    3.5 will do nicely, I think. Not a perfect book by any means, but the storytelling, atmosphere, and lore were really great. Some of the dialogue bothered me. It felt forced, trying to be funny, and it really wasn't. There were some parts that did make me chuckle, but not nearly as many as I think were SUPPOSED to be funny. This book is dark, endearing, silly, and a whole mess of other things, but it's also really odd. It's definitely a fantasy no...
  • Emily Dawe
    The Monster on the Road Is Me was a phenomenal book. It was so different from other things I read which is why I loved it so much. You won't have an experience like this with any other young adult novel. I quickly fell in love with the main character, Koda, who was so easy to relate to and instantly felt like he would have been my best friend. His character was very witty and sarcastic and kept me laughing throughout the unfortunate events that o...