My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Thriller, Mystery, Horror
When fifteen-year-old Sophie’s best friend dies abruptly under mysterious circumstances, Sophie sets off to stay with her uncle and cousins on the remote Isle of Skye. It’s been years since she last saw her cousins — brooding Cameron with his scarred hand; Piper, who seems too perfect to be real; and peculiar little Lilias with her fear of bones.
Sophie knows that in her uncle’s house, there are rules she must follow: Make no mention of Cameron’s accident. Never leave the front gate unlocked. Above all, don’t speak of the girl who’s no longer there, the sister whose room lies empty of all but the strange antique dolls she left behind.
As Sophie begins to explore the old house, a former academy for girls shut down long ago, she discovers unsettling secrets that shed light on a dark and dangerous history. But there are some secrets Sophie never expected to uncover. Secrets about her own family. Secrets that suggest Sophie may be in more danger than she could have ever imagined.
Creepy. Creepy. Creepy. Creepy.
There may exist thousands of books featuring creepy, Machiavellian talking dolls, but they’re a classic that will forever invade horror stories.
To my surprise, I wasn’t scared by this book. Maybe you’ve noticed, it’s shelved under the ‘‘horror’’ genre, which is a genre that I absolutely do not read. Ever. Even if you beg me to.
But this didn’t scare me in the teensiest bit. I was, however, captivated by the story and, of course, creeped out by the dead dolls.
The story is well-told. Alex Bell keeps things interesting by adding constant action and twists at unexpected places. Plus I can’t complain about the writing.
There really was no need for an unrequited love tragedy, however. Bleh. The story would also have worked even without the imminent romance. It’s really not a main focus, so there’s that, but it could certainly have staid completely dead, too. Pun oh so intended.
A bit clichéd, as we’ve all probably seen dozens of movies with cruel dolls or read books about them, so there isn’t a great amount of originality from the author’s part, but I can assure you that it’s very much readable.
So much that I’m disappointed this won’t be released for Halloween. What were they thinking releasing this a month from Christmas? Ah, Publishing, a mysterious creature.
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