Blur is a YA ghost story that will appeal to guy readers, and I haven’t seen one of those in a long, long time.

Blur is a YA ghost story that will appeal to guy readers, and I haven’t seen one of those in a long, long time.

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.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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  1. Pingback: Curse | Handheld Dream

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