Title: Every Time We Meet at the Dairy Queen Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes
Author: Carlton Mellick III
Publisher: Eraserhead Press
Release Date: April 16, 2016
Pages: 122
Book Source: Paperback

Known for his cute, disturbing, and utterly absurd novels, cult author Carlton Mellick III returns with a tale of childhood love and spontaneous face explosions.
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"Ethan is in love with the weird girl in school. The one with the twitchy eyes and spiders in her hair. The one who can’t sit still for even a minute and speaks in an odd squeaky voice. The one they call Spiderweb.
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Although she scares all the other kids in school, Ethan thinks Spiderweb is the cutest, sweetest, most perfect girl in the world. But there’s a problem. Whenever they go on a date at the Dairy Queen, her whole fucking face explodes. He’s not sure why it happens. She just gets so excited that pressure builds under her skin. Then her face bursts, spraying meat and gore across the room, her eyeballs and lips landing in his strawberry sundae.
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At first, Ethan believes he can deal with his girlfriend’s face-exploding condition. But the more he gets to know her, the weirder her condition turns out to be. And as their relationship gets serious, Ethan realizes that the only way to make it work is to become just as strange as she is.
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From the award-winning author of Sweet Story and The Haunted Vagina, comes a twisted love story that is as creepy as it is heart-warming." – Amazon

Scott’s Review

Admit it right now. You know you want to read this book. How can you not with a title like that? I’ll squeal with glee later on in my review, but for now, let’s talk about the gory details (pun intended). Ethan falls in love with Jill. He falls head over heels for her and he doesn’t care who knows it. Jill comes from a long line of women on her mother’s side of the family with an interesting condition. They love so much, so fiercely and so passionately that their body can’t contain their love. Literally. They quite literally explode. Ethan learns of this condition when he invites Jill out on their first date to the local Dairy Queen. She knows they’re bound to be together and she’s filled with so much joy and love that her head explodes. I’m not talking figuratively either. I’m talking about her cranium actually exploding in a ball of goo, eyeballs, blood and muscle.

It sounds gory and disgusting, but it’s written in a very cute-sy, cartoony, super fun, kinda way. After her face explodes, Jill calls her Dad who picks her up, takes her home and proceeds to do facial reconstruction surgery on her. Evidently, this is a skill he has acquired after marrying Jill’s mother. Jill’s dad learns of Ethan, their first date and he’s beyond excited to know that her daughter has found someone who likes her as much as Ethan does!

The story continues following along with Ethan, Jill and their budding relationship. Jill’s parents are so damn excited that Ethan wants to be involved with their daughter that after one such unfortunate incident, they have him over for dinner where he learns all about several family secrets including why the kids at school (and her own dad) refer to her as Spiderweb. Jill’s parents have been married for quite some time and her father has had the opportunity to learn what it takes to live with her mother, a woman whose face also happens to explode.

I know I’ve already mentioned that, but it’s worth repeating. I am hoping that small paragraph will be enough for all of you to give this book a read. It is a relatively short story which means you won’t need to worry about investing a lot of time if you decide it isn’t for you.

“We just sit here. Waiting. Holding hands. Blood dripping down our faces. Our hearts fluttering in our chests. It wasn’t what I was expecting our first kiss to be like.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while being a constant reader of gory, macabre fictional stories, you need to have an open mind. Obviously, the title alone is over the top and some say a bit ‘gimmicky’, but reading this was so damn much fun! If you’re going to sit there like a bump on a log with a salty attitude, like, "Oh. Sure. Her face explodes ‘cuz she’s in love? " If your level of disbelief and overall, seriousness, outweighs your capability of having fun while reading – you’re right, this probably isn’t you for.

I can say with certainty that the writing is humorous and so matter of fact that it had me laughing out loud to myself. It’s a fun story of teenage love and exploding faces. I know what you’re thinking, “OMG, all that blood and gore and brains and eyeballs!” I can assure you that it’s not written from a pathologist’s point of view. It’s written just like the title indicates. It’s fun, it’s humorous, yet subtly dark and obviously, demented. Despite how over-the-top the story is, Carlton Mellick III still manages to make it pretty damn believable which in and of itself is pretty remarkable, if you ask me. This is the first title I’ve read of his, but I can promise you that it most certainly will not be my last!

I’m giving this little novella a 5-star review simply based on how entertained it left me. The story continued to remain with me long after I finished it simply because of how fun it was! I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but the point of a book like this is to entertain you and dammit, that’s exactly what it did. It did more than kill some time for me. It entertained me from start to finish. Heck, I even spent a few moments appreciating the brilliant cover art. The colors and how outrageous the whole thing is just left me appreciating the bizarre mind that Carlton Mellick III must live in. As an individual who appreciates the arts, I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of respect I have for him and who he is as a writer. Can you imagine pitching this kind of story to an editor or publisher? "So, Mr. Mellick, what exactly do you mean when you say her fucking face explodes? " Highly recommended to my fellow bookworms and all things strange and entertaining! Lactose-intolerant and non-fans of Dairy Queen, need not apply.

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