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SCREAM SITE by Justina Ireland


by Justina Ireland

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63079-102-5
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

An aspiring journalist investigates a local horror website.

Sabrina Sebastian is a smart, ambitious high school freshman, determined to get a summer newspaper internship, but her cafeteria exposés and charity fluff pieces for the school paper are too stodgy. Her best friend, the spirited Evelyn, suggests that she write about the gossip surrounding Scream Site, a trendy website for amateur horror videos. Sabrina hates scary movies but is intrigued by rumors that girls have disappeared after sharing videos. Could there be a grain of truth to the terrifying footage of girls screaming for help while evading nefarious pursuers? “This is real. This is real!” whispers one girl into the camera. Sabrina turns up suspicious ties between the website and missing local girls, but her detective uncle dismisses her concerns as unfounded even as Sabrina starts to receive creepy threats. Ireland (Dread Nation, 2018, etc.) maintains a steady pace of reveals as suspicion is cast on Evelyn’s crush, an English teacher, and possibly even Sabrina’s own uncle. Horror fans may be disappointed that homage is paid to the genre without any real terror, but they will appreciate the jump scares, the untimely blackouts, and the frustration when Sabrina’s older sister, Faith, innocently decides that she wants to try to post some horror videos, too. Sabrina and her sister are dark-skinned, and Evelyn is Chinese-American.

This mystery shines as a foray into modern investigative journalism.

(Mystery. 12-15)