Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book Review: Skeleton Creek

I checked out this Scholastic book, Skeleton Creek, once before and promptly returned it to the library after consuming only a handful of pages. It didn't draw me. It didn't appeal. However, when Trevor selected this as a book to read for an assignment for school, I decided I would check the book out again and finish it this time, so that I could assist Trevor if he needed help working on his report. While he enjoyed the book fairly well (for a kid who doesn't really like reading), I found the book entirely tiresome.

Here's the book's official summary: "Although housebound following an eerie accident, teenaged Ryan continues to investigate the strange occurrences in his hometown of Skeleton Creek, recording his findings in a journal and viewing e-mail video clips sent by fellow detective Sarah. The reader may view Sarah's videos on a website by using links and passwords found in the text."

For whatever reason, Trevor didn't realize he was supposed to be interacting with the book by searching up the videos on-line. He only began viewing them after I told him how lame they were. They were reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project, a movie meant to appear as a documentary of some scary activity in the woods. The videos accompanying this book were annoying and created multiple interruptions to the reading process. The actress portraying Sarah has this habit of hesitancy in everything and it was quite exasperating. Moreover, the videos were so artificial and contrived, not scary in the slightest. I could not abide them and groaned every time I was directed to yet another one. The only thing I found interesting were the alchemy symbols used in the mystery.

Because it is told in journal format, with inserted e-mail clips and, of course, the dreaded interactive video clips, it must be appealing to tween boys. Since this is a hard demographic to pull in, I'd have to say the book is successful even when it didn't appeal to me at all. If you have a tween boy interested in scary stories, with an active imagination and a willing sense of suspension of disbelief, you might wish to recommend this series to them (five books in all, to date). However, I didn't care for it at all.

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