A good piece of fiction. The writer speaks through a child which I found very believable. It was very easy to slip into the mind of this young girl, GA good piece of fiction. The writer speaks through a child which I found very believable. It was very easy to slip into the mind of this young girl, Gwenni, who thinks she can fly in her dreams.
The book evolves around Gwenni, and through her eyes we witness a criminal case that turns the whole town's ordinary life around. Throughout the book, we read about the revelations of the town's people and their pasts through Gwenni. Now, I was glad to see that we didn't get a total conclusion in the end -it's not that it was open but more like left to the reader's interpretation- I think this made the child's point of view much more believable. Young children are never given much detail about adults' lives -especially when such a criminal case is involved- and Gwenni is left with little comment from the adults around her but thanks to her love for detective stories she decides to solve the case on her own by gathering her own evidence.
The revelatios made through the book were well placed, they come just at the right moment for the reader to understand the situations and with every detail you get to guess what might come next or how this affected the events. I can say I was constantly forced to think and reconsider some things according to the new informations. And in the end, I was able to understand how it all might've worked out to be the way it did. And like I said, in the end the details were left to the reader's interpretation of the events.
This book also touches a bit to religion. Since the children are young and they're learning about religion, with the crime committed in the town they're forced to question life and death and crime etc. I especially loved the part where the children smother their religion teacher with questions about crime and punishment. That was beautifully written and it was so easy to see young ones voicing the ambiguities in religion. It makes me sad that we lose that smart part of ourselves while we grow up.
Overall, this was a lovely book that I enjoyed reading very much, with nicely written characters, a good enough mystery to keep the reader guessing and a decent way into the young mind....more
I gotta admit I didn't expect so much from this book, so it took me a while to actually read it until now. The plot remainded me so much of a teen slaI gotta admit I didn't expect so much from this book, so it took me a while to actually read it until now. The plot remainded me so much of a teen slasher movie plot, you know, the ones where young people come together, for a ghost seance in an gothic looking school during Thanksgiving holiday as in this one, and one by one they get murdered, after unleashing an evil spirit that is. These movies usually go with a line as lame as, 'what started as an innocent game has become a race against evil..' or something like that. Don't get me wrong, I love these movies, they're a guilty pleasure of mine. So anyway, it took me a while to read this but I haven't regretted it.
The plot is what I told above. Five students, each having their own reasons for not going home, stay over at school over Thanksgiving holiday. They find a Ouji board and decide to use it for fun as any person in such a situation would do. While they think one or more of them is controlling the board, they manage to communicate a boy who supposedly died in this very school many years back. And as nights pass they start to suspect that maybe they're not playing some trick on each other but that maybe the boy and this whole experience is real.
I read about the author, it seems she's actually a screenwriter. I think if one pays attention you can see the hints to this talent of hers, all throughout the book I thought this would've made a great movie, and actually checked if they had. Turns out, they hadn't. A shame. They could've made good money out of this.
The school itself pays a great role in the book I think, with its gothic structure and dark halls and its history that gets way back. Combine that with a ghost that seems to linger in the attic where the students play with the Ouji board, you get yourself an eerie atmosphere.
The students first seem very stereotypical, a jock who only cares about flirting, the brooding musician who's mysterious but also sexy, the misunderstood strange girl with mommy issues who's hated by the girlfriend of the jock above whom she likes, the slutty girl who seems to care about nothing at all and the nerd of course, beacuse there always have to be a nerd.
But they somehow work it with their typical characteristics in the end. The first half of the book really bored me, but the second half was better. The biggest frustration I had with the first half was that every single action was described by the auhtor. I'm sure there must be other ways to describe the door being knocked and the heroine going to open it. I don't always need exact words to know that just happened. However, the eerie air of the gothic school and the ghost/spirit story, which is something that almost always manages to scare me, worked out okay. But seriously, if I were staying over, I'd be safely tucked away in my room from all this Ouji madness, what is it with young people and calling for spirits?
There was a religious undertone as well in the story, but I guess with a theme of evil spirits and and how to defeat them there has to be a religion factor. But I thought it was interesting.
So overall, it was a good story, one that I still think can be turned into a movie. Even the screenplay is ready, I don't think there's much that needs to be changed here....more
**spoiler alert** I liked it. It was a good combination of crime, mystery and humor. Informative about linguistic differences between american and bri**spoiler alert** I liked it. It was a good combination of crime, mystery and humor. Informative about linguistic differences between american and british accents :) There were parts that made me laugh and there were parts where I thought things were ridiculous but it was still fun. Read it through my flight, it kept me busy. Although gotta admit, Evadne -the 'murder mystery author'- needed to be told off at times. A nice enough 'locked room mystery' as a refenrence to my favourite mystery author, Agatha Christie....more