Blur is an interesting mix of horror and mystery mostly because narrator is unexpectedly male, popular, and well adjusted when he starts seeing the dead girl from his high school. It makes me try to recall how many current YA horror/mysteries I’ve seen lately targeting that audience. None. They are all about it in the middle grade books, but I can’t think of one guy book that is comparable to the Maura Dyer books (please leave me a comment if you can think of one book that fits the bill, cause I’ll buy it). Fortunately, Steven James has created something to fill the void, and I ordered it the minute I finished reading. Creepy and suspenseful, I think this will actually appeal to both genders and reluctant readers.
Daniel starts having headaches and strange visions at a funeral for a classmate. No one else saw Emily sit up and speak, but she definitely had a message for Daniel. When she shows up again in the middle of the homecoming football game, Daniel decides it is time to investigate, but finding the truth is sometimes more upsetting than not knowing, and as Daniel gets closer to finding Emily’s killer, everyone is suspect, including himself. This was a fast and easy read. Fans of both horror and mystery will find themselves satisfied as small but unsettling events evolve into larger and more disturbing manifestations that really leave the reader questioning Daniel’s sanity. I was a little disappointed with the ending. The murder’s motive was still a little cloudy, and there was a sort of after school message taped on to the end, but it did resolve the big issues and left a few questions for the next book. I particularly liked the fact that Daniel was not the stereotypical recipient of a “gift” like this — usually it is a girl, and an outsider. The decision to make him the star quarterback, and the son of the town sheriff makes him appealing to a wider circle of readers. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. I Only Read Sports Books or you, Miss. I Can’t Read Anything Long. While this isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, it will keep many of you happily creeped out and occupied — tell me when you get to the sleepwalking incident, because that really freaked me out!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Look for this book in our classroom library after March 20, 2015.