TITLE: Doll Bones
AUTHOR: Holly Black
PUBLISHER: Random House Children's Publishers
GENRE: Paranormal, Adventure, Middle Grade
RATING: 4/5 Stars
Twelve-year-old Zach is too old to play with toys. Or at least, that's what his father thinks.
But even though he stops hanging out with Poppy and Alice, stops playing with his action figures, it's no good. There's one toy that still wants to play with him. A doll that's made from the bones of a dead girl.
The only way to end the game is to lay the doll to rest forever. It's time for a journey to Spring Grove cemetery. It's time to grow up.
What I Liked:
- I got more than I bargained for in terms of character development with this one. Before reading, I honestly thought the main focus here would be the Doll itself, and the adventure/mystery surrounding it. Instead I gained a huge insight into the lives of the three children this book centres on (particularly Zach) and this book served more as a coming-of-age tale. I really liked how much it surprised me on that level. I loved the large focus on friendship and family, it made it surprisingly deep.
- The quest they go on felt realistic, and I loved it's simplicity. It made for an enjoyable plot-line that I could follow easily and read smiling the whole way through. Black wrote really well too, it was easy to understand what was going on and the plot flowed nicely.
What I Disliked:
- The fact that there wasn't much of a ghost story (which I was expecting) did have it's downfalls. I never really found myself scared, or even a little creeped out. We do get some back-story, but we don't ever get a large amount of spooky moments, nor did I ever feel like the ghost was very dangerous. It was hinted at throughout the book that the doll was supposed to be evil in some way, but she came off as nothing more than an impatient nuisance to me.
There is a lot more to this book than you would expect. Or rather, I found it was a different kind of story to what I thought I would read. Instead of a chilling ghost story involving evil dolls performing terrible deeds and frightening children, I found a slightly haunted doll being pretty bothersome and rather ungrateful at times in my opinion. Nonetheless, the story of the children themselves took it to a whole new level and I really enjoyed this read!