Poltergeeks

Poltergeeks
By Sean Cummings
Published on October 2, 2012
Published by Strange Chemistry
Source: ARC from publisher

Summary from Goodreads:

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.
My thoughts... 

I'm having a bit of a writing block today, so here, in list form, are some of my thoughts.  (I like lists.)

Here are some things I liked:
  • A teenage main character who acts and sounds her age.  Julie is 15 and she's written like it!  Her dialogue doesn't sound like the words of an adult coming out of a kid's mouth.  She's headstrong and emotional and makes rash decisions and thinks she knows best.  Sound like anyone you know?  Yeah, sounds like me when I was 15.
  • A teenage main character who has a good relationship with her mom!  Sure, there are bobbles here and there and Julie can be kind of bratty sometimes, but it was so nice to see a mother and daughter working together.  I liked that the thing that really helped Julie find her power was the fact that her mom was in danger.  A great change of pace from many other YA books.  
  • The book is a quick read and is very fast paced.  The action doesn't really lag, and the plot is pretty simple.  There are enough loose ends to justify a sequel, but not so many that you think you missed something by the time you finish.
Here are some things that I didn't like:
  • Many of Julie's problems seemingly could have been avoided if the main character had just asked for help in the first place.  I know that this is reality for teenagers -- they want to do things themselves, they want to prove themselves -- and so this is where YA books so often show their 'you're not my core demographic' colors for adult readers like myself.   Julie was mature or self-aware enough to know at several points that she wasn't an advanced enough witch to solve the problems on her own, but she still waited until the problems were huge to bring in her mom for help.
  • Julie's BFF Marcus has been secretly crushing on her for years and years.  The book blurb doesn't mention romance, but it's in here, and while it's sweetly done, I still sighed whenever that plot point came up.  I would love to see more books where the male and female leads are just friends and not nursing secret feelings.
  • The villains in this book had me rolling my eyes for reasons that I can't really talk about without giving away spoilers, but suffice it to say, I am trying very hard not to climb back up on my Certified Feminist-y Book Blogger Soapbox to complain about it. 
Overall, I thought the book was okay.  It wasn't anything too ground-breaking, but it was a nice change of pace from many other YA paranormal/urban fantasy books out there.  Julie doesn't fall for someone morally ambiguous or unreachable or who could possibly kill her.  She doesn't suffer through unbearable traumas.  She's just a normal girl, who happens to be an extraordinary witch.  There is some violence and mild profanity in the book, but nothing that most teenagers aren't already exposed to.

4 comments:

  1. I find that in almost all books, most of the problems that happen could have been avoided if the MC just asked for help in the first place. That's something that has always bothered me about action books.
    The name of the book and the synopsis leave me kinda confused. I was sort of expecting it to be some kind of funny poltergeist book. Hmm...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I spend a lot of reading time wanting to shake the book, being like "This would be so much easier if you just told someone about this!" It's realistic but can get frustrating as a reader to see it over and over again.

      I kind of felt like the title and the summary gave one impression about the book, but that the book didn't really live up to it. It was a funny book -- Julie and Marcus and some of the supporting characters are pretty witty -- but I felt it wound up being way more serious in spots than I expected.

      Thanks for reading!

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  2. I have missed visiting here being so busy-fied behind my work on self-publishing. So when I saw the title of the book for this review, I really wanted to check it out, take a break from the busy-ness I've been involved in. I liked this review for the list of likes and dislikes, especially the point about how this book shows its YA colors when it comes to certain plot aspects being very "YA" instead of "prone toward adult cross-over". Very good review indeed.

    I must come back more often. I know I've missed some awesome reviews :-(

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  3. I love your list type review. I've done those in the past and had fun writing them. I had writer's block the other day, maybe I should have done a list review. Thanks for sharing!

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