Sometimes, the emblem of a great novel is its ability to blur the line between reality and fiction. In Andrew Matarazzo’s independently published debut Bedlam, a mysterious virus evolves into an epidemic that ravages an entire city and turns people into monsters called “Morts.” The young-adult dystopian story follows the teenage Tye and two companions as they navigate life following the catastrophe. More than just a tale of three teenagers struggling to survive and the repercussions of a widespread illness, the book tackles themes of teamwork, sacrifice, and relationships formed amid traumatic times.
Matarazzo, who is also an actor, filmmaker, and singer, first released a draft of Bedlam on Wattpad to 16,700 readers. A gripping 287-page read, Matarazzo sets a strong foundation for a potential follow-up with a fast-paced narrative that keeps the reader hooked from cover to cover. Bedlam will surely resonate with those who have had to come of age during the pandemic—particularly for its well-studied and developed character arcs.