Review: Ophie’s Ghost by Justina Ireland

Ophie's GhostsOphie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


On the night that Ophelia’s father is killed, and their Georgian home burned to the ground, she sees her first ghost. She takes it in like a child would, with surprise and wonder, but then she keeps it to herself. She knows it wouldn’t be considered normal.

Fleeing Georgia, Ophie and her mother head for the city of Pittsburgh to live with some of her father’s relatives.

For Ophie, this is a big change and it’s definitely difficult living with all her cousins and aunties. Adding to this stressful situation is the ghost thing.

It seems like now that Ophie has seen one, the flood gates have opened. She’s encountering them everywhere. Sometimes it seems like they need something from her. It can be tiring.

Ophie’s Mom is stressed too. She’s doesn’t want to be relying on these relatives forever, but it’s expensive to get a place in Pittsburgh. They need to save up.

Thus, her Mom pulls Ophie from school. She needs to go to work in order for them to make enough money to get their own place.

Without a choice, Ophie does as she is told and begins attending work each day with her Mom at Daffodil Manor as domestic help.

The Caruthers family, the long-time owners of Daffodil Manor, are very wealthy and have a rich history within the walls of the house. Some of the ghosts of the past remain, all too evident to Ophie.

The ghosts learn that Ophie can see them and they begin interacting with her on a regular basis. Soon Ophie finds herself investigating an old mystery, trying to find the truth of one of their deaths.

Having read previous YA-works from Justina Ireland, I knew that I was very interested in picking up her Middle Grade debut. I’ve always enjoyed her writing style, particularly how she seamlessly blends historical fiction with other genres, like horror.

This book does exactly that. The historical piece is so well done. I was transported to the early-1920s while reading. You can tell that a lot of research goes into her work and that she really cares about accuracy.

Ophie was a great main character to follow. Her strength throughout was inspiring. It starts off with a real tragedy and doesn’t get much easier for our young heroine over the course of the story.

I also appreciated the relationship that Ophie had with her mother. Her mother is obviously a strong woman, to go through what she did and be able to move her and her daughter to a new city, a completely different world really than what they were used to, and to still work hard and push on, it shows real perseverance.

It’s no surprise that Ophie would show the same strength of character in the face of challenges. While their relationship wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, the bond felt very realistic and I liked that.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed were the short chapters about the different places. For example, The Attic, and then it will give a bit about the attic of Daffodil Manor, it’s history, what it has seen, how it feels. I love this.

I always enjoy when an author can thoughtfully create a true sense of place, making the places feel almost like characters unto themselves. Ireland definitely has a gift for that!

Overall, while this is fairly serious for a Middle Grade, there’s a ton of important topics explored and I enjoyed the characters a lot. I am definitely used to more humor in my MG, but this was a nice change of pace.

I would certainly recommend this one to all Middle Grade Readers, particularly the audiobook narrated by the always fantastic, Bahni Turpin. It’s a perfect little mystery for the Spooky Season. Get your ghost on!!

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Review: A Thief of Always by Clive Barker

The Thief of AlwaysThe Thief of Always by Clive Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

πŸ’šπŸ¦‡ A modern classic. I loved this. πŸ¦‡πŸ’š

I picked up The Thief of Always as book #3 for my TBR-Haul Project. I hauled this charming paperback edition in April 2018 and she’s been gathering dust ever since.

Clive Barker is well-known as a heavy-hitter in Horror and Dark Fantasy, but this was actually the first thing I have ever picked up from him. I was very excited to check out his work for the first time. It did not disappoint!

This story, fit for all ages, follows a young boy, Harvey Swick, who is bored with his life. Aren’t they all sometimes?

One day, as Harvey is contemplating just how boring his life is, a man named Rictus appears to him and offers him the opportunity to travel somewhere exciting, away from his parents and teachers and school, a place called the Holiday House, where every day brings something to celebrate.

Granted, he doesn’t sell it to Harvey in exactly those terms, but you get the gist.

Figuring he doesn’t have any other enticing options, Harvey agrees and off he goes with Rictus. After arriving at the property he finds other children there already and befriends two of them, Lulu and Wendell.

Through them, the elderly housekeeper, Mrs. Griffin, and good old-fashioned exploration, Harvey begins to the learn the ins-and-outs of the Holiday House and it’s mysterious benefactor, Mr. Hood. Suffice it to say, it’s not all as holiday happy as they may want you to believe.

As the truth behind the property begins to be exposed, it seems Harvey needs to make a move fast or risk never returning to that boring life he took for granted before.

Y’all, I absolutely adored this story. From the very first chapter, I was completely drawn in. The writing style is lush, fluid and ominous, even when you aren’t quite sure why.

For me, that’s a characteristic of fiction that I have always been drawn to, even as a child. I would compare it to the tone of say Alice in Wonderland, or even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Where everything engaging, vibrant and beautiful, but you also have the chills for reasons you can’t quite put your finger on.

Barker absolutely nailed that tone. I loved the progression of Harvey’s story, the way he began to piece together that all wasn’t as it appeared at the Holiday House.

The more he figured out, the faster the pace got as well, so it gave me a sort of heart-racing feeling as I made my way to the conclusion. I loved that aspect. There were so many cool elements throughout to enjoy, but those final few chapters really sealed the deal for me.

I am so very happy, after all this time, that I finally made the time for this one. It’s an absolute treat. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a classic-feeling spooky story. Bonus, it’s perfect for this time of year.

I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Barker’s work!!

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Review: Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne A. Brown

Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire HuntingSerwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne A. Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting is the latest release from the fabulous Rick Riordan Presents imprint. It follows, you guessed it, a family of vampire hunters, or as they are commonly known, slayers.

More specifically, Serwa’s parents are the experienced slayers and Serwa is essentially a slayer-in-training.

More importantly though, Serwa is just a 12-year old girl trying to make her way through Middle School. That sounds scarier, doesn’t it?

Serwa and her parents are originally from Ghana, although Serwa has lived in the United States since she was very, very young. They’ve sort of bounced around, going wherever her parents skills are needed.

One day, seemingly out of nowhere an obayifo, or witch, from their past shows up at their house and attacks, allegedly searching for a magical artifact that Serwa has never heard of.

Whatever it is, it must be serious business because their home is destroyed and before Serwa can even wrap her head around what is happening, her parents are ditching her in a remote town in Maryland with an Aunt and a cousin she barely knows.

Serwa is shocked. Her parents have always included her in their adventures. She doesn’t understand why they would abandon her now. She needs them.

Making matter worse, Serwa must even attend school. After being home-schooled her whole life, this is bound to be a big adjustment. She’s the new girl and doesn’t quite fit in.

Luckily, she has her cousin and is able to make a couple of new friends. When mysterious things begin happening at the school, though, Serwa is afraid there is a adze, or shape-shifting vampire, in their midst.

Could this be related to the attack at their old house?

When she tries to tell her parents about it over the phone, they don’t believe her and then cut themselves off from her completely.

Wow, that’s harsh. Serwa can’t tackle this very serious issue alone. Thus, she is forced to confide in her new friends. She’ll just have to train them to be slayers as well. She can always wipe their memories after…

What ensues is a wildly-magical romp following Serwa and friends as they try to solve the mystery, protect a magical artifact and save their school from evil forces.

I absolutely adored my time reading this. I listened to the audiobook and definitely recommend it. The narrator did a phenomenal job breathing life into these characters. Oh my goodness, was it fun!!

I loved the influence of Ghanaian culture and folklore felt throughout this story. I liked reading about how her family and culture impacted Serwa.

That’s really the beauty of this imprint. I’ve always learned from these books and find the different legends and folklore from around the world captivating to read about. This was certainly no exception.

The fact that it incorporates vampire lore makes it that much more fun!

I really enjoyed Serwa as a character. Her personality actually reminded me a bit of Aru Shah. I think that may have been because even though Serwa didn’t quite fit in, it didn’t stop her from being true to herself; a fun-loving, curious, determined young person.

Not everyone can be the super popular kid, nor should they want, or need to be. I loved how Serwa’s character was able to overcome being alienated from a lot of her peers. Once she found her friends, they became so close and really grew stronger together. It’s quality over quantity, y’all.

I also loved the mystery to this and the high stakes. Brown did an incredible job building the intensity as the story progressed. There wasn’t a dull moment to be found.

I did get super frustrated with Serwa’s parents though. Oh my word, I wanted to reach through the pages and shake them at times. We can’t expect adults to get everything right though, can we?

There was a truly jaw-dropping revelation towards the end of this. It basically flipped what I thought I knew on its head. I loved that! It took me completely by surprise.

Even though I found some scenes towards the end a tad confusing, I definitely think this concluded in a great spot to keep Readers drooling in anticipation of the sequel.

I cannot believe I have to wait a year to see where this story is going to go from here. You got me, Roseanne A. Brown. You got me good!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Another stellar addition to the Rick Riordan Presents imprint!!

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Review: The Girl in White by Lindsay Currie

The Girl in WhiteThe Girl in White by Lindsay Currie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Mallory has felt out of place ever since her family moved from the bustling city of Chicago to the small seaside town of Eastport in New England.

Certain aspects of the town’s local culture drive Mallory a bit crazy if she’s being honest, like the fact that it feels like Halloween 365-days a year.

While this may sound absolutely fantastic to some of us, Mallory feels very differently. The constant reminders of local ghost stories and lore weighs on her last nerve.

Her parents, who own and run a cozy restaurant known as The Hill, have bought into it hook, line and sinker. Her mother even regales visiting guests with spooky tales during meals at the restaurant. It’s like dinner and a show.

As time goes by, instead of getting better, Mallory feels like things are getting worse. She’s having a difficult time sleeping and feels like she is being watched.

The nights are the worst. She’s losing time and waking up dirty and wet; that’s how Mallory initially starts to figure out that she’s actually been sleepwalking. That paired with the nightmares, make Mallory’s nights something to fear.

When a neighbor boy, Joshua, confesses to Mallory that he has been sleepwalking as well, the two begin to share stories. It seems they are even plagued by the same dreams.

What is going on? The more they compare notes, the more they begin to fear that what is happening to them may be connected to one of the town’s most infamous legends, that of Sweet Molly.

Together with Mallory’s other friends, Emmie and Brianne, the kids begin a deep dive into the real story of Sweet Molly.

They feel like she’s connecting with them for a reason. Even though it’s scary, maybe she just needs their help. They hope that with enough information they’ll be able to help Molly achieve peace, so that she can move on and they can finally sleep through the night.

The Girl in White was my most anticipated Spooky Middle Grade release of the year and it did not disappoint.

Currie knows how to deliver that perfect, cozy, spooky small town atmosphere, all while pairing it beautifully with likable, strong-willed, curious and determined characters.

This was such a fun story and definitely had some top-notch creepy moments. I liked the investigation the kids undertook, following clues and trying to get to the truth behind the legend of Sweet Molly.

I also enjoyed the message at the heart of this story. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that it shined a light on doing the right thing, even though it might be difficult.

I did feel the ending to be a little abrupt, but that’s most likely because I didn’t want it to end. I definitely recommend this one to all Spooky Middle Grade Readers.

You know who you are…

Thank you so much to the publisher, Sourcebooks Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I’m obsessed with Lindsay Currie’s stories. They are so cozy, spooky and fun. All the the things I love in my Middle Grade. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

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Review: Stinetinglers by R.L. Stine

Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales (Stinetinglers, #1)Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales is exactly that. An all new collection of spooky tales from the master of Horror for Young Readers, R.L. Stine.

I’m sure you know him and if you are like me, you may love him. You may have loads of nostalgia for those classic Goosebumps stories.

I was so stoked when I heard the news that he had a new collection releasing, just in time for Autumn, featuring 10-new spooky tales.

I listened to the audiobook for this and had an absolute blast with it. It’s fairly short, coming in at just over 5-hours, and it kept me completely engaged from start-to-finish.

The narration was so expressive and captivating. I thought numerous times how much fun this one would be to listen to on a family road trip.

I also really enjoyed how, as an introduction to each story, R.L. Stine wrote a bit about his inspiration and motivations for writing each story. This aspect reminded me of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King.

Personally, I feel like having that extra insight from the author on a short-story collection makes it even more memorable and in a way, personal.

Overall, I had a blast with this collection. I flew through it and honestly enjoyed every story. It’s a great example of Stine’s style and fulfilled all my nostalgia needs.

Thank you to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Stinetinglers is fun for the whole family this Spooky Season!

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Review: Part of Your Nightmare (Disney Chills #1) by Vera Strange

Part of Your Nightmare (Disney Chills, Book One)Part of Your Nightmare by Vera Strange
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Part of Your Nightmare is the first book in Disney’s Chills series, which features all new characters making deals with famous Disney villains.

This is a Middle Grade anthology series and does read very true to that age group.

In this installment we follow 11-year old, Shelly Anderson, who spends a lot of her time at the aquarium owned by her parents. She loves marine science and knows a lot about the ocean and the creatures who live there.

At school, Shelly is a member of the swim team and wants so much to be accepted by the popular girls on the team. In fact, being popular is a big focus for Shelly.

On a school trip to the aquarium, Shelly is hanging out with the popular girls, Kendall, the queen bee, and the twins, Alana and Attina. She’s excited about the acceptance she is starting to feel from them. They actually consider her a friend. She can’t mess this up.

When Kendall challenges her to do something she would never normally do, Shelly succumbs to the peer pressure. Her action has horrible consequences, summoning the Sea Witch Ursula and putting Shelly within her grasp.

Shelly apparently never saw the movie The Little Mermaid, so she is unaware that Ursula is a dangerous negotiator; someone she doesn’t want to be a making a deal with.

Unfortunately, without this knowledge, Shelly does just that. She makes a deal with the witch that will allow her one wish, to be the best swimmer, that way she can win competitions for her team and secure her popularity for sure.

As I am sure you can imagine, there’s hidden aspects to this deal and it doesn’t go as Shelly imagined at all. Life as she knows it is now at stake, can she figure out a way to break the deal before it’s too late!?

Part of Your Nightmare is a great start for this anthology series. I enjoyed this one. The ending took me completely by surprise. It was definitely chilling with a heavy dose of Goosebumps vibes. Fun and frightening!

The dialogue wasn’t the greatest, but I am hoping this author can improve with that over the course of the series. It just didn’t feel natural, or in any way like kids this age would talk.

Other than that, I enjoyed the imagery, the incorporation of Ursula and the lessons taught over the course of the story. I absolutely plan to continue on with this Spooky Middle Grade series.

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Review: Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

Scritch ScratchScritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read Scritch Scratch in a 24-hour period at the beginning of June. For some reason, even though I absolutely adored this Spooky Middle Grade story, I completely forgot to review it.

I am here to change that. The thing is, I really want more people to pick this one up. I need to hear more chatter about it. It’s so fun, clever and immersive.

This story follows Claire, whose Dad runs a ghost-themed Chicago bus tour.

Generally speaking, Claire chooses to distance herself from her Dad’s business. She’s a science-girl at heart and all that supernatural mumbo-jumbo is just not for her.

Unfortunately, one night her Dad needs her help on the tour. No one else can do it and he can’t do it himself. Their family can’t afford to refund all the tickets, so Claire begrudgingly agrees to assist for one tour.

As the night slowly progresses, it seems to be going okay, but then Claire notices a little boy all alone. He’s dressed strangely, like his clothes come from a different time and he doesn’t seem to be interacting with anyone.

Claire is disturbed by his presence. She doesn’t know what to think about it. At the end of the tour, when she goes to check on him, he’s gone. Did she just imagine the whole thing?

It’s after that night that the scratching starts and the number 396 begins popping up everywhere for Claire.

It doesn’t take long for her to put tw0-and-two together. She is being haunted by that boy from the bus, or at least by his spirit. He seems to want something from her, but what?

Claire tries to parse out the identity of this mystery boy. Maybe if she learns something about his life, she’ll be able to help him in some way.

An investigation ensues, full of Middle Grade clues and logic. I absolutely adored that aspect. Actually there were many aspects about this story I enjoyed; pretty much of of them.

Currie’s writing was fantastic and it absolutely drew me in from the start. I did listen to the audiobook and highly recommend that format.

I felt like due to the top-notch narration, the story was made even more creepy. If you are a fan of Spooky Middle Grade, you need to check this one out. It’s so much fun!

I’m super excited to read more from Lindsay Currie. If this story is any indication of her overall style, I feel like we are going to have a long and beautiful friendship.

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Review: The Clackity by Lora Senf

The ClackityThe Clackity by Lora Senf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After a childhood tragedy, Evie Von Rathe moves to the town of Blight Harbor, the 7th-most haunted town in America, to live with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert.

When we meet Evie, she is a happy little girl, on the cusp of her summer holiday. She enjoys working at the local library with her Aunt’s best friend, Lily, and has a fantastic relationship with her Aunt Des. These things help her deal with the pain of her earlier trauma.

Additionally, Evie is quite interested in paranormal goings-on and the fact that this is her Aunt’s line of work excites her to no end. Frankly, I get it. Desdemona is intriguing.

One rule Des has always had is to not hang around the local abandoned slaughterhouse. Makes sense to me. Apparently, once upon a time, a local serial killer John Jeffrey Pope worked there. It’s not giving off good vibes.

When Evie discovers her Aunt is exploring the old slaughterhouse for work, she wants in on it and promptly follows Des there.

Over the course of their investigation into the slaughterhouse and it’s sordid history, Aunt Des disappears and shortly thereafter Evie meets the Clackity.

The Clackity tells Evie that Des has been transported into a dangerously magical other realm and only Evie has the power to save her.

It offers up a deal, saying if Evie retrieves the spirit of serial killer John Jeffery Pope for it, Aunt Des will be saved. The killer is also in this magical other realm, putting Aunt Des in terrible danger. The clock is ticking.

Even though it is quite clear that the Clackity isn’t something you want to be making any sort of a deal with, what choice does she have? That’s right, none.

Thus, Evie begins her dangerous quest to save Aunt Des, meeting challenges, obstacles and scary beings head on. Evie is one strong and determined little girl. We love to see it!

The Clackity is such a fun Middle Grade story; non-stop spooky goodness from beginning to end. It channeled heavy Neil Gaiman vibes for me and I was eating it up.

Quests are one of my favorite tropes and I would argue this fits the bill perfectly. Add in the level of eeriness carried throughout and you pretty much have a perfect story for me.

I loved how the quest was presented. There were different steps, or challenges, Evie had to pass before moving on to the next. It was simple and easy to understand, while also being ridiculously well-imagined and described.

This story absolutely filled my heart. I loved the characters, relationships, humor and horror-filled imagery so much. It’s incredibly dark and creepy, the perfect example of why I love this subgenre of Middle Grade with my whole being.

I definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a classic-feeling Spooky Middle Grade story. The Clackity is an absolute gem.

Thank you so very much to the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It was an true delight.

The Clackity releases this coming Tuesday, June 28, 2022.


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Review: Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by TolΓ‘ Okogwu

Onyeka and the Academy of the SunOnyeka and the Academy of the Sun by TọlÑ Okogwu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Onyeka is a twelve-year-old girl living in the U.K. with her Mom. They moved there from their native Nigeria when Onyeka was very young. In fact, she was so young she doesn’t remember anything about her life in Nigeria where they lived with her father.

All Onyeka knows is that when they moved to the U.K. it was just the two of them. Onyeka’s Mom keeps their past shrouded in mystery, preferring to ignore the topic rather than answering any of Onyeka’s questions.

This sounds sad and if she dwells on it, sometimes it does make Onyeka a little sad, but overall her and her Mom have a great relationship.

Her Mom is a strong woman who only wants the best for Onyeka. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but you can tell the two love each other fiercely even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye.

When our story begins Onyeka and her best friend, Cheyenne, are visiting the local public pool on a hot day. Even though Onyeka doesn’t adore swimming, for Cheyenne she’s willing to join in the fun.

However while they are both playing in the water something happens and Cheyenne ends up in distress. Onyeka, not a strong swimmer to begin with, cannot sit by while her best friend drowns. She has to help her, thus she learns the magic power of her hair.

Yes, you heard that right. The only thing saving Cheyenne and Onyeka that day was the power of Onyeka’s hair.

After the very public spectacle at the pool, Onyeka gets home to a Mom that is not happy. Through their heated discussion regarding the days events, Onyeka’s Mom reveals that Onyeka is a Solari, a child with special powers.

Before she can even wrap her mind around all this new information, Onyeka finds herself, along with her Mom, on a private jet being whisked off to Nigeria. Their destination is the Academy of the Sun, a school developed just for Solari.

Arriving at the School, Onyeka is overwhelmed by it all. She has to learn about this entire hidden world she knew nothing about before.

Crazier still is that she’s one of them and she’s powerful. Her hair, that has always been a nuisance to her and a frustration for her mother, is actually her greatest strength.

She just needs to learn to control it.

The Reader gets to go along with Onyeka as she learns all about the Solari, their history and challenges. She trains with other students, who although all Solari, have very different powers from one another.

It was a lot of fun to be in a magic school setting. There were a lot of interesting characters and Onyeka learned so much about herself from interacting with the others. She made some close friends and was able to really be herself for the first time.

I absolutely adored this story from the very first chapter. Getting to know Onyeka, she is such a special character, the kind who is easy to root for.

The story is action-packed, with a slight mystery-edge to it. I loved the themes explored, such as embracing the hidden power within yourself, letting your uniqueness shine and so much more!!!

I would definitely recommend this book to any Middle Grade Reader, particularly if you are looking for diverse, culture-filled, immersive OWN-voices stories.

You can’t go wrong with this absolute ray of sunshine. It filled my heart reading this.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Margaret K. McElderry Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I truly hope this isn’t the last story I get to read following this lovable protagonist. Onyeka has so much more room to grow and I want to be there for every moment of it!

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Review: Wretched Waterpark (Sinister Summer #1) by Kiersten White

Wretched Waterpark (Sinister Summer, #1)Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Sinister-Winterbottom twins, Theo and Alexander, along with their older sister Wil and her cell phone Rodrigo, are shocked and abhorred when their parents drop them off at their Aunt Saffronia’s house for the entire summer.

With nary an explanation, or actually even really a remembrance of how this strange turn of events came about, the siblings are left without a choice. They must stick together and make the best of it.

Truth be told, it’s a little uncomfortable. Aunt Saffronia isn’t exactly schooled in having children around. Why did their parents leave them with her?

Seriously, it’s like the woman just stepped off the pages of a gothic novel from another era…

Luckily, Aunt Saffronia offers them a chance to escape the house during the day by taking them to Fathoms of Fun, a nearby waterpark.

She buys them week-long passes and insist they return day after day from open until close.

Sure it sounds promising, all the water slides, wave pool, park food and a lazy river, but alas, that’s not quite what Fathoms of Fun is all about. From the moment they buy their passes the kids realize this is no ordinary park.

There’s barely anyone there. Instead of chilling in a cabana, it looks more like a mausoleum and even the rafts used to go down the water slides are shaped more like coffins than anything else. What the actual heck?

With Wil staring at her phone all day, per usual, Alexander and Theo are pretty much left to their own devices. They start to learn more about the park, including the fact that the owner disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

As each day goes by, the population at the park dwindles, both patrons and staff alike; increasingly sketchy things are happening around them constantly and the kids are on edge. Then Wil disappears and the fun is over.

Now the twins have to work together like never before to solve the mystery of the park and get their sister back!

Y’all, it’s official. I am in love with the Sinister-Winterbottom siblings. This was so, so much fun. A funny, thrilling, odd, quirky and engaging Middle Grade Mystery.

I loved the writing style, it definitely channeled A Series of Unfortunate Events for me. Additionally, I loved the gothic tones woven absolutely everywhere into this story. White did such a great job of keeping that aspect entertaining.

It was like the characters from Hotel Transylvania opened their very own waterpark.

Theo and Alexander were both such strong characters in very different ways. I liked that they supported each other as siblings. They knew they were different from one another, but that didn’t cause them to fight, or dislike the way the other did things or saw the world.

I found that to be quite refreshing. They loved each other so much and were able to work together seamlessly even in the face of grave danger.

I also enjoyed their older sister Wil a lot. Always staring at her phone, completely disconnected from what was going on around her, but when it counted, she wanted to be there for her family. For the most part.

The ending was so fun. I definitely get where the comp to Scooby-Doo came from after those final scenes. Delightful!

The end also left some questions unanswered. Really, I have a lot. I was super happy to read that there is actually a sequel to this, Vampiric Vacation, that may in fact be released later this year. I certainly hope so.

I need more Sinister-Winterbottom goodness!!

Thank you to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m in love with this series! Pure sinister fun!!

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