Word Spelunking

Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks - Robert  Gray Read the original and complete review at Word Spelunking THREE FIVE WORDS: A Monster-load of creepy fun!MY REVIEW: Robert Gray’s Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks has everything I look for in a MG book- laugh-out-loud laughs, relatable young characters, pitch-perfect dialogue and a super fun story….oh, and pizza. Can’t forget the pizza!Fourteen year old Eve Hallows has lived in Gravesville, surrounded by monsters, her whole life and that’s absolutely horrible to her…of course, in Eve’s world horrible means awesome and adorable means awful. With a shapeshifter for a father, a gorgon for a mother, a ghoul for a brother, a werewolf for a grandpa and a vampire for a grandmother, you’d think Eve was something simply horrible. But she isn’t. Instead, she’s something utterly adorable- a human. Left by her human family 14 years ago, Eve has grown up in this monster inhabited world and wouldn’t have it any other way. But when a mysterious group known as The Source start to murder monsters, Eve’s parents pack up the family and move to the human world…where everything is absolutely, abominably, abysmally adorable!I loved every moment of reading this book and I read it in one sitting, simply unable to put it down! It can be a difficult thing to add the right amount of dark and creepy to a MG book and still keep it appropriate for its intended audience, but the author has done just. Robert Gray offers readers the perfect mix of the creepy, the funny and the “real” life; a mix that will delight young and older readers alike.The story is nicely paced- fast enough to keep young readers from getting bored, but slow enough to allow readers to really get to know this world and its characters. And this book’s world and characters are totally worth getting to know. The world Gray has crafted is so vivid, fantastical and layered that readers will have no problems believing that Gravesville and its monster inhabitants exist. With an awesome mix of the whimsical and the creepy, Gray’s world of monsters is exciting and enchanting. And the “real” world Gray places Eve in is very relatable. In the human world, Eve must deal with very real and hard things- mean girls, fitting in, crushing first crushes- and Gray explores these things in a way that younger readers will get and appreciate-with humor and honesty.The characters in Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks are just as wonderful as its settings. Eve is easy to love; she’s witty, sarcastic, and as over the top and dramatic as a fourteen year old should be. I think readers will love the rest of the Hallows family because they’re delightfully weird, yet oddly normal. Mr. and Mrs. Hallows may have monsterly abilities, and Mrs. Hallows isn’t above turning someone into stone, but they’re still very mom and dad-ish. Throw in a ghoulish brother; an invisible, pizza making man; a bunch of zombie pirates; some new human friends; a couple mean girls; a cute crush and a butthead of a principle and you have the rest of the zany and fabulous cast of characters in this book.Eve doesn’t just have the human world to contend with though, she, along with her new friends, must go up against The Source and its cronies, resulting in a thrilling adventure. Gray wraps up his book with a satisfying ending, but leaves room for plenty of more horrible fun…and Eve's adventures are set to continue Summer '12, and I will be the first in line for Eve Hallows and the Book of Shadows!MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This is the perfect book to be read aloud, read at night under the covers or simply devoured in one sitting. Robert Gray’s Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks simply shines with all of its fun creepiness, compelling characters and stellar writing. A MUST read for any MG fan!

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