Help for the Haunted by John Searles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm the kind of person who watches a scary movie with one hand covering my eyes and just enough of a crack between my fingers that I can see what happens - IF I DARE. Reading about ghosts and things that go bump in the night is REALLY hard to do like that!
I tried my hardest to be brave, but starting with the chapter titles, I was creeped out. Then, when I had come to terms with the beginning of the chapter, it was ending. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? I had to look at the clock to determine if I could keep reading (whatever I read/watch before bed often turns up in my dreams).
You don't get to pick your parents, but when they communicate with spirits you can't help but be at least a little odd. Sylvie is the kind of young person I feel sorry for, then cheer for, then scream, "GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE!" when things get more than a little uncomfortable. And her life in this book is almost always uncomfortable. It seems she's not only the kind of kid who doesn't watch TV, she probably hasn't seen a scary movie. How else do you explain the fearlessness of wanting to solve the murder of her parents?
Because this is a mystery novel, I won't spoil anything here. I was reminded of a few things:
1) Dolls are still creepy.
2) I can never live in a home with a basement.
3) I will never hang out with people who can connect with ghosts.
If there was one more chapter, I'd like to think Sylvie was enjoying life with people who were a little more normal. And that the SHHHHH has stopped. For good. A little peace is always nice. She earned it.
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