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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Visit Holly Black's Official Website Here
OVERVIEW: Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity
FORMAT: Doll Bones is a children's novel that mixes paranormal stories with adventure and 'coming of age' tales. It stands at 250 pages and was published May 7, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books.
ANALYSIS: Holly Black is an amazing, best-selling author of children's, YA, and adult fantasy/fiction. Her latest novel Doll Bones is a paranormal horror/adventure novel for children that will even have adults looking over their shoulders – and second guessing the dolls/toys in their home.
Doll Bones tells the story of Zach, Poppy, and Alice who have been friends for what seems like forever. They enjoy playing with toys/action figures and creating detailed stories and adventures. Unfortunately, Zach is at the age where he is 'too old' for this type of play and vows to stop playing with Alice and Poppy. Alice and Poppy struggle with this sudden severing of their friendship.
That is until one evening when Poppy starts experiencing strange/mysterious occurrences with a china doll that was used during their adventures. Poppy convinces Alice the doll is haunting her and is 'speaking to her' from beyond. Alice and Poppy rush to tell Zach and beg him to help them discover why the doll is talking to them and solve a murder mystery.
The only questions is – is this real or is Poppy making it up as a last ditch attempt to keep the friendship between the three of them alive?
Doll Bones was amazing in a creepy paranormal kind of way. It contains all the elements that a children's paranormal/horror novel should – a creepy story, relatable elements, and characters that instantly bond with readers. The elements in the story are a little heavy for some of the younger readers – a terrible death, betrayal, etc. – but I think it is perfect for children ages 8/9 on up.
One of the amazing things about this novel is that it works for adults too. Adults can relate to the feeling of being 'too old' to play with toys and the sense that friendships are moving on – even though no one really wants them to end.
Adults will also find some of the creepy/paranormal aspects of the novel captivating. Holly Black uses her storytelling skills and really pulls you into the story. Her storytelling skills allowed me to feel connected to the characters, feel as if I was a part of the story, and really bring a chilling, haunting quality to the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed the novel. There were parts that were certainly creepy and had me thinking twice about any toys/stuffed animals in my house. And there were parts and characters that I really could relate to, which made the story seem to just fly by.
I think it is one of those books that will work for anyone –regardless of age. It works perfect for children looking to get into scary horror stories, but who might not be ready for a bunch of blood, guts and gore. It works great for those that love adventure stores and it works great for adults who are looking for a fun, solid read that is definitely a page turner.
12:00 AM | Posted by Cindy | | Edit Post