Author: Vega, Danielle
To evade her manipulative ex-boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Hendricks' family moves to small-town New York, where she joins the popular crowd, but only her outcast neighbor, Eddie, can help chase vindictive ghosts from her new house.
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Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 510544
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2019 Gr 9 Up—Hendricks arrives in the small New York town of Drearford with her baby brother, her house-flipping parents, and major baggage from her hometown of Philly. Escalating incidents with her former boyfriend Grayson forced her family to relocate with the goal of renovating a run-down old house, which Hendricks soon learns has a macabre history. Several teens, curious about the new girl, quickly fold her into their close-knit group, and even more quickly, school hottie Connor makes it clear he is interested. But with flashbacks and references to troubles with her ex, Hendricks isn't jumping into anything soon. As she learns more about the history of the house, as well as the connections between it and her enigmatic neighbor Eddie, disturbances in the house turn from scary to violent. Ultimately Hendricks and Eddie must battle the house and the hungry spirits that inhabit it. Interplay and dialogue between the teens ring true, more so than the almost nonexistent relationship between Hendricks and her apparently oblivious parents. Allusions to cruel bullying as the catalyst to events almost get lost as the story culminates in a finale that, while dramatic, feels rushed and overcrowded with explanations. The relationship with Grayson and the role alcohol played are intriguing yet used as a red herring rather than fully explored. Socioeconomic status, poverty, and mental illness are examined through the equally haunted Eddie, who feels that there is something "rotten" with the entire town. VERDICT Teens will relate to the characters and enjoy the creepiness, making this a strong choice where horror is in demand.—Lee De Groft, Jamestown High School, Williamsburg, VA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.