The Syndrome

One Bug, One Bite Will Change Your Life As You Know It

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
41 Pages
Reviewed on 11/21/2020
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The Syndrome: One Bug, One Bite Will Change Your Life As You Know It by Mark Adkins is a fictional short story that revolves around the seemingly sudden change of child to teenager. Adkins narrates this story from the first-person point of view of a father who is perplexed by the changes occurring within his son and daughter, one to which he applies a metaphor of having been bitten and infected as the trigger for rapid and often inexplicable metamorphosis. Their evolution is rife with physical fights and screaming matches, lying, the downfall of personal hygiene and space, and the blossoming of young lust. The book has a distinct feel to it that smudges the line between fact and fiction as it breaks the fourth wall in a format wherein the narrator is speaking directly to the reader, as if there's a casual conversation occurring over coffee, and often veers into self-help territory as the narrator provides suggestions on how best to handle the changes.

Mark Adkins is a talented writer who is able to inject heavy doses of wit into The Syndrome, and sarcasm galore. The acerbic tone elevates the book from a crowd of similar fodder that is regularly passed off as parental angst but is more a long-winded rant than an actual story. There is a delicate balance between using rancor as a tool to enhance the story and abusing it to the point where it comes off as pretentious. Thankfully, Adkins rests in the former. As the father of a teenage daughter myself, I had more than my fair share of chuckles, particularly as Adkins details a shrewd cleverness in wordplay among the young that can be equal parts infuriating and amusing. For example, he asks his son if his friends were to jump off a bridge would he follow, to which his son asks how high the bridge is. This book is a good bit of fun and I enjoyed reading it.

Susan Sewell

The Syndrome (One Bug, One Bite Will Change Your Life As You Know It) by Mark Adkins is a realistic and amusing short story that features the life-defining metamorphosis children have when they reach their teen years. Have your children been acting differently lately? Do they show signs of personality changes? Perhaps they have already been bitten by the hormone bug. An indication that metamorphosis is in progress is when the sweet, rule-abiding daughter transforms into a demanding spitfire, or a dependable son becomes an egocentric slug. When their children defy them at every turn, how do other parents respond? Even though it seems as if their bodies outgrew their brains, teens conversely seem to acquire the skills of an established lawyer. Defiance, debate, manipulation, and rank smells have replaced our former offspring. How does this dad cope? From attitude to zits, this anecdote covers a survivor parent's panoramic view of his evolving teenage dilemma.

Chuckles abound in the humorous short story, The Syndrome by Mark Adkins. Having a pre-teen grandson living with me, I was captivated from the very first paragraph. The signs are already there, and I had to say it is realistically spot on! Although there are some line-editing errors, it is a satirical and entertaining essay. I had quite a few laughs while reading it, especially the part about the odoriferous pheromones emanating from their bodies. If you have one or more adolescents, reading this narrative will assist you in stepping back and enjoying the journey.