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A suspenseful and seriously fun thriller.

Awards & Accolades

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Parker offers an eerie supernatural mystery featuring a young woman struggling with grief, finding love, and encountering paranormal phenomena.

There’s something supernatural in the town of Seabrook, and 18-year-old Amy is soon to discover it. She’d desperate for sleep and solace after the death of her mother, but she accompanies her father on a visit to the oceanside town of Seabrook; he’s a detective for the state police who’s investigating a mysterious disappearance in the community. After a rash mistake with some medication nearly costs Amy her life, she finds her circumstances intertwined with those of handsome Ryan, who’s dealing with the loss of his own mother and baby sister. He’s also supporting his father in the aftermath of a stroke, undertaking the financial and emotional burden of running the family’s ranch. He and Amy form an immediate bond, finding love in the shadow of the town’s mysterious lighthouse. But the closer they become, the more intense the supernatural experiences that surround them, including lapses in time and seemingly impossible coincidences. Then Amy receives a startling message from her late mother, and soon, she finds herself unraveling a mystery about Ryan’s identity. This smart, suspenseful, and briskly paced work will keep readers guessing. Avid fans of supernatural mysteries may predict a few of the twists, but the cleverly crafted plot is sure to deliver some surprises nonetheless. Parker doesn’t solely focus on the mystery, however; he also offers plenty of heart, including messages about the enduring power of family and how love can conquer one’s fear of the unknown. There are plenty of spooky chills along the way, but Parker’s work is never gory or excessively violent, making it appropriate for teen audiences. The result is a haunting but hopeful work of supernatural fiction that comes to a satisfying conclusion.

A suspenseful and seriously fun thriller.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-9951495-0-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2021

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It's almost enough to make a person believe in ghosts.

A disturbing household secret has far-reaching consequences in this dark, unusual ghost story.

Mallory Quinn, fresh out of rehab and recovering from a recent tragedy, has taken a job as a nanny for an affluent couple living in the upscale suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey, when a series of strange events start to make her (and her employers) question her own sanity. Teddy, the precocious and shy 5-year-old boy she's charged with watching, seems to be haunted by a ghost who channels his body to draw pictures that are far too complex and well formed for such a young child. At first, these drawings are rather typical: rabbits, hot air balloons, trees. But then the illustrations take a dark turn, showcasing the details of a gruesome murder; the inclusion of the drawings, which start out as stick figures and grow increasingly more disturbing and sophisticated, brings the reader right into the story. With the help of an attractive young gardener and a psychic neighbor and using only the drawings as clues, Mallory must solve the mystery of the house's grizzly past before it's too late. Rekulak does a great job with character development: Mallory, who narrates in the first person, has an engaging voice; the Maxwells' slightly overbearing parenting style and passive-aggressive quips feel very familiar; and Teddy is so three-dimensional that he sometimes feels like a real child.

It's almost enough to make a person believe in ghosts.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-81934-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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A descriptive and atmospheric paranormal social thriller that could be a bit tighter.

After a Nigerian British girl goes off to an exclusive boarding school that seems to prey on less-privileged students, she discovers there might be some truth behind an urban legend.

Ife Adebola joins the Urban Achievers scholarship program at pricey, high-pressure Nithercott School, arriving shortly after a student called Leon mysteriously disappeared. Gossip says he’s a victim of the glowing-eyed Changing Man who targets the lonely, leaving them changed. Ife doesn’t believe in the myth, but amid the stresses of Nithercott’s competitive, privileged, majority-white environment, where she is constantly reminded of her state school background, she does miss her friends and family. When Malika, a fellow Black scholarship student, disappears and then returns, acting strangely devoid of personality, Ife worries the Changing Man is real—and that she’s next. Ife joins forces with classmate Bijal and Benny, Leon’s younger brother, to uncover the truth about who the Changing Man is and what he wants. Culminating in a detailed, gory, and extended climactic battle, this verbose thriller tempts readers with a nefarious mystery involving racial and class-based violence but never quite lives up to its potential and peters out thematically by its explosive finale. However, this debut offers highly visually evocative and eerie descriptions of characters and events and will appeal to fans of creature horror, social commentary, and dark academia.

A descriptive and atmospheric paranormal social thriller that could be a bit tighter. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9781250868138

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023

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