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  • Scary tale with things that go bump in the night

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Disney Book Group and Christine Lynn Herman for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. Are you ready for what’s in The Gray? It is haunting and horrifying. It sent shivers down my spine and made me pull up the covers a little tighter and I loved every second of it. I read this all in one shot - I couldn’t put it down and I enjoyed every second of it. The writing is gorgeous, evocative, descriptive. The contrast between the forest that surrounds the town, the green of the trees, the smell of the leaves, compared to the gray where there is an absence of sound, breath and colour. Don’t forget those bodies turned inside out and upside down. We never get a clear picture of the monster, but its personality is just outside of our grasp. So frightening for Violet who had no frame of reference for what was happening, thrown into the gray. I love that the outsider, Violet, is the moral compass. She can see so clearly what is wrong because of her fresh perspective. The others have been bogged down by history and responsibility. Their grooves already dug out for them. Such a clear picture emerges of the town of Four Paths, off the beaten path, a place where everyone knows its secrets, where strangers aren’t welcome. You can feel the smallness of the town, the expectations and judgement palpable. Imagine a high school where there aren’t enough seniors to make a class and kids who have been together their whole lives. Yet, Herman introduces the fluidity of their sexuality without it being a thing if you are bisexual, gay or straight. The four teens who have to right the wrongs of their parents, fix the mistakes of the past and forge their own way forward. Can they? Or will they, too, find themselves seduced by power. There is so much in this book, great relationships between characters, magical realism, and a good old fashioned scary story with things that go bump in the night. Bonus were the amazing illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

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