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Posted July 22, 2011
Review by Nancy Holzer:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book's structure embeds each friend's story in the larger story of what's happening in the Tuttle house. These are stories you might hear around a campfire: demonic possession; sisters lost in endless, frozen woods; the ghost of an old woman frightened to death; a vain girl unaware of her parents' terrifying secret; a haunted road to nowhere and each reveals something of its teller's personality. Although the stories are fun, each teller's voice sounds too much like the others', making it hard at times to distinguish the kids. Of the five friends, two emerge as complex characters: David, who acts tough to cover up his insecurities, and Marlene, the smart, "perfect" girl who neglects herself to care for others. The other three friends never rise above their initial, somewhat stereotypical impressions: Peter, the chubby, glasses-wearing nerd; Erin, the pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty; and Roy, the late bloomer who has a crush on Erin.
With each tale, a sense of menace builds until events explode in an action-packed conclusion. The friends' courage, smarts, and loyalty are tested as they face the house's mysterious inhabitant. With just enough violence to sustain a sense of real danger, the climax keeps you guessing until the plot's final twist.
Posted January 5, 2011