My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Ghosts, Paranormal, Friendship
Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.
Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.
Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.
Such a shame. This could have been a perfect Halloween read.
The road sure was paved. I mean, folks: curious, elusive, blue forest creature taking control of a little girl, ghost-talking and… did I mention the blue creature?
However, something was missing. The right atmosphere. It wasn’t scary or even a little creepy. Just mysterious.
But then again, it’s not like the author wanted this to be a Halloween read, or the publishers would have published it in October, right?
I personally found that this wasn’t a bad story at all. I definitely enjoyed the presence of the blue creature and the narration. Overall, it was relatively original.
And very short, also. Under two hundred pages. Now I’m not saying this kind of amount of pages is a problem in general, not at all, there’s a lot that can be said in this number of pages, but that just wasn’t the case here. A lot was dragging, plot-wise. It wasn’t fast-paced or action-packed, but slow. Or so it felt, because of the repetitions in the first hundred pages.
The characters were charming. Though I liked Lionel and his obsession with becoming an animal and Marybeth’s personality shift after being possessed, I really do think nine-year-old is a bit young. Readers like to ‘‘read up,’’ remember? They prefer reading about characters older than they are. Even I wasn’t a huge reader at 8 or 9.
A peculiar, paranormal adventure that will intrigue young readers.
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