Spooked by Tracy Sharp
Author: Tracy Sharp. Website|Facebook
Published: 14 September 2012 (Riff Raff Press)
Source: Received free copy from the author for review
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Sixteen year old Lorelei has a special talent. She can steal your deepest, darkest secrets. However, using her power leaves her open to some very nasty creatures from the underworld.
But then a girl from her school disappears. Then another. And another. Lorelei might be able to discover who is abducting the girls from her town if she uses her gift . . .
Can Lorelei stop more girls from being taken? Or will using her gift attract the hell-things that are after her?
I've had a bit of a backlog recently so this is a book I've been meaning to read for a while, since the author very kindly sent me a copy to review. Spooked tells the story of Lorelei, who since a young age has had an ability to steal people's secrets. It's a power that terrified her parents, so much that they sent her to live with her Aunt Delia for her own protection. When girls start disappearing from her local town, Lorelei wonders if she can use her powers to get to the bottom of things.
Within a few pages of this book I was absolutely hooked! I loved Lorelei's ability and the concept of the story. I instantly felt for her and her situation as she's abandoned by her parents, so she made a fantastic main character. I liked the relationship with her aunt who she has grown up with. She's had to keep her powers a secret so she's become quite isolated. It was interesting seeing her reactions with other characters in the story and overall I just really liked her.
What really won me over though was the mood of the story. This book definitely had the creepy factor! Not only is some spooky stuff going down with people disappearing, but the tension is ramped up with great cliffhangers at the end of each chapter that had me constantly turning the pages. It's quite a short book but the pace kept up and I devoured it pretty quickly.
The first half of this book focuses on Lorelei and two new acquaintances, Kerry and Mick. I thought their friendship developed a little quickly, but otherwise they made a great group of characters. The action takes place around the school and the town where girls are disappearing. There was a great network of characters who obviously have a lot to hide which made for some great mystery. The second half of the book sees a change in pace, as Lorelei comes face to face with people who know the potential of her powers. I won't go into it too much for fear of spoiling, but I really enjoyed the exploration of the world in the second half of the book. The two halves did feel a little disjointed but I enjoyed both parts equally.
I feel like I should point out that the book deals with some pretty adult themes, including mentions of rape and abuse. It gave the book a very gritty edge which added to that overall feeling of creepiness and suspense, but I like to point these things out in advance in case they prove to be triggers for some people. I also wouldn't suggest this was a book for slightly younger readers.
Overall this book really impressed me. I loved the spooky, creepy, scary tone of the book and it had a great mix of characters. I'd definitely recommend it!
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