No time to track down full reviews of YA books? Seashell Reviews offers bite-size thoughts to let you know which books you shouldn’t pass up, and which ones you can hold off for another day. Original titled blog feature by Angel @ Mermaid Vision Books.
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Between sneaky, subtle horror and obvious jump scares, I’ll take the shadows on the wall any day. Down a Dark Hall is one of Lois Duncan’s most terrifying novels, right down to the very last sentence. The chills begin with Kit’s first reaction to Blackwood Hall–“This place is evil.”–and escalate as she discovers just how far some people will go in the name of art. It’s been eleven years since I read this novel for the first time, and I still shudder at the memory of the climactic scenes. Don’t, and I’m serious, don’t read this at night.
As fascinating as it is to read about events of impact in history, such as the World Wars and revolutions, I’ve always been drawn towards historical stories with heart, ones about the people suffering through wars at home. Eva Ibbotson’s stories have always had beautifully poetic prose, but they also have absolutely fantastic and brilliant characters. Ellen’s experiences in A Song for Summer are told with care and a palpable love from the author, and everything from the romance to the Austria Ibbotson paints for the reader are honest and real.
I’ll say it straight out: if you didn’t read this book when you were a kid, you missed out on a stellar piece of literature. The Westing Game‘s mysteries are stacked a mile high, but the ride that Ellen Raskin takes her readers on is unforgettable. I have fond memories of reading and rereading this book until the spine fell apart, and then buying a new copy and reading it over people’s shoulders, trying not to spoil anything for them. This was one of the first books I ever shared with people I liked, and I cannot wait until my little cousins get older and I can introduce them to the purely awesome story of The Westing Game.