What an absolutely brilliant concept. Honestly, this is the most unique book I have come across in a long time and I am eagerly trying to get it into the hands of every kid I see, as well as several adults. In an internet age where kids are more into technology than holding a nice book in their hands, author Patrick Carman has reached out to those kids, producing an interactive book that combines both reading and that necessary technology, getting down to a teen's level and truly giving them what they want.
Skeleton Creek is told from best friend's Ryan and Sarah's perspectives, through Ryan's journal and Sarah's uploaded videos. Strange and scary things are happening in their town of Skeleton Creek and when the pair vow to get to the bottom of it, they won't even let a terrible accident or the fact that their parents have forbid them to communicate stop them. While Ryan lies in bed, recovering from a broken leg and tries to find out everything he can about the Skeleton Creek mystery from his dad, recording everything in his journal, Sarah takes her video camera everywhere and uploads the clips for Ryan to see, emailing him passwords to ensure he is the only one able to connect to the video.
Working together, though very much apart, Ryan and Sarah slowly begin to uncover some pretty creepy information and end up way more involved than either ever really plans. Their lives have been put into danger several times and they are learning that Ryan's dad may be in the midst of the sinister info they are collecting.
And let me tell you...the end leaves you with one heck of a cliffhanger. Darn you, Patrick Carman!
There were a few small flaws in the writing and the videos, mainly that the first couple of videos simply do not make Sarah a believable character (but she gets much, much better as the book goes on), and some of the things that Ryan writes come off as excessive explanations, definitely not a trait of most teen boys. I also felt this might be better marketed to young adults, rather than the 9-12 set, as the main characters are a bit older and several of the videos are quite scary. I made Aaron turn the lights on every time I had to watch one!
That being said, I still feel this book is absolutely brilliant (I just HAD to read it in one sitting, it is so suspenseful) and I am SO on the edge of my seat awaiting the sequel, set to be published this fall. A definite must for libraries!
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. It's available today!
Middle Grade Fiction