Spooked by Tracy Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Spooked was a very interesting novel. Part mystery, part paranormal, part horror, it was original enough that I didn't feel like I was reading another clone of something with a popular YA theme. The writing style was a little atypical as well, and after the first few pages I was used to it. That style also helped set it apart. Over all, I would rate the novel between a three and a four. The characters were enjoyable and the story was good. Ultimately, I settled on rounding up and giving it a four because I really did want to finish the story and find out what happened to the characters.
The story synopsis is fairly accurate so I don't feel a recap is necessary. However, I do think some things about the book need to be mentioned. The first half of the novel really had me hooked. The characters and their relationships were being developed and the mystery of the missing girls was progressing nicely. However, about halfway through, the story changed significantly. It became darker and much of the plot and character relationships were just kind of dropped. Newer (and I think not as well done) relationships and plot line picked up, and there was more of a focus on some of the hidden 'secrets' the main character is removing from people. The secrets were, as expected, disturbing. And because of the content of some of those secrets, I think the recommended age for readers should probably be older YA (the over fourteens - a change from the first half of the novel). Although the secrets were an important part of the story,I think they were a bit more of a distraction and either needed to fit into the story more or have less focus entirely. (The novel is on the short and fairly fast paced side, so I really felt it was a distraction).
There were a couple of other things as well - at times Lorelei seemed a little out of character with her reactions to things and the newer characters needed more detail and attention. The relationships that just kind of popped up seemed unlikely and just needed ... more.
In spite of the issues I had with the second half of the novel, I did enjoy the story and am glad I had the opportunity to review it. And though I did receive a copy in exchange for an honest review, if I had paid the cover price, I would not have been upset about it. It was a good read.
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