Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Doll Bones by Holly Black

"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 . . ."

Published May 7th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books.

 My last post was a week ago, and it's not that I haven't been reading, because I have; it's because I keep starting books and giving up since I can't get into them. This includes ARCs too, which I feel obligated to read, but at the same time, if I can't get through the book, I'm not going to torture myself trying.

This was the first book to break the curse. Was it an earth-shatteringly-good book? No. But it was fun and had a nice coming of age adventure story. Only, it didn't, because the characters were 12 years old, so the characters did not become anything resembling adults. They went from playing make believe to going on a real life excursion that resembled their games, plus they ended up more grown up at the end. But in the end, they still decided to continue their make believe games. The issue is that I've only seen this book classified as YA, but it's really for Middle Grade (ages 8-12) readers. I am a bit confused about why this is YA, because the subject matter is nothing  more mature than what you would find in children's books. Yes, the story is longer, but it's not as long as the Harry Potter books. For this reason, I can't give the book a rating, because it feels like rating this and rating the other books on this site is kind of like apples and oranges. The book would be a fun, slightly scary story for a child, but it's not that deep, and it's not going to be a story that many adults will read, like Harry Potter.

When reading it, I was first reminded of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?", which I loved! It could have been one of their stories had it been condensed and scarier, with more action. The book reminded me of the stories I enjoyed in elementary school, like The Green Ribbon from In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz. Just like that book, there were illustrations in Doll Bones as well (and I loved them).

If I knew then, what I knew now, I wouldn't have read this. I almost bought it in the book store (in the YA section), and I'm so glad I got it from the library instead.

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