Genre: Young Adult paranormal horror
Date Published: February 28th 2017
# Of Pages: 300 pages
Synopsis: Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.
Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.
It's not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.
Cassie can't shake this sickening feeling that there's more to the carnival than meets the eye.
When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.
Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren't simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.
.....For Exceeding My Expectations
I have to admit, I was worried I wasn't going to like this one. You always dread reading a book that was given to you by the author's mother, because there's always that fear that you'll have to find a polite way to tell said mother that you didn't like it.
...So imagine my surprise when I found I actually enjoyed this story. It ended up becoming a YA horror story that kept me reading until the very end! I kept thinking of horror flicks like Halloween and It Follows while I was reading this. Granted there weren't homicidal maniacs in this book, but the vibe of the story felt very similar. There are teenagers trying to figure out what is happening in their own way, but powerless to stop the next tragedy. There are paranormal creatures in the woods that adults can't seem to find. It's a good creepy, suspenseful story.
The pace of the novel was also pretty good. Granted, the first few pages were off to a slow start, but once I got past that, I was hooked. It's definitely a book that you'll have trouble putting down.
I think the ending disappointed a few others who reviewed this book. It leaves you with unanswered questions about what those paranormal creatures were, which bothered me at first. After further thought, however, I find the ending works. These were teenagers trying to find answers after all, and the heroine feared bringing attention to herself, so it would make sense that they wouldn't find out the truth without putting themselves in unnecessary danger. It could also be that this is the first book in a series, and we will find out more later. Either way, I'm satisfied enough with the ending.
If I had one criticism, it would be towards the editor. There were small segments of the story that felt a little choppy, particularly with some of the dialogue, and there were a few proofreading errors that were overlooked.
Would I recommend this story? Yeah sure! It's written by a local author who has a talent for suspenseful stories, and who deserves to be read. It may not be considered the best YA novel currently out there, but it's certainly worth a look.