Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for . . . forever. Name any ghostly swamp figure and Candy will recite the entire tale in a way that will curl your toes and send chills up your spine. That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. Even though she and her friends entered the swamp at the start of summer and left it changed, Candy’s the only one who can’t see or feel the magical swamp Shine. She’s also the only one who can’t see the ghosts that have been showing up and spooking everyone in town ever since. So Candy concentrates on other things—real things. Like fighting with her mother and plotting her escape from her crazy town. But ghosts aren’t the only newcomers in Sticks, Louisiana. The King family arrives like a hurricane: in a blur and unwanted—at least by Candy. Mr. King is intent on filming the rumored ghostly activity for his hit TV show, Local Haunts. And while Candy can’t ignore how attracted she is to eighteen-year-old Gage King and how much his sister, Nova, wants to be friends, she’s still suspicious of the King family. As Candy tries to figure out why the Kings are really in town and why the swamp that had previously cast her aside now seems to be invading every crack in her logical, cynical mind, she stumbles across the one piece of swamp lore she didn’t know. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may have all the answers . . . and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.
Behold The BonesFeatured
Behold The Bones
Candance "Candy" Pickens is fascinated with the folk lore of her small Louisianan town which includes a yearly birthday ritual at a family member's grave site. Legend has it that when one is born, another one dies. The litany read at the site includes family members that have passed on, including Annemarie, the only one who isn't buried with the rest of them. Add to that most in the town see the dead. Even though her town is filled with ghosts, she seems to be the only one who doesn't see them. That is until a new family moves into town with their own secrets. More swamp ghosts appear and now Candy sees them too. One piece of lore stays with her and somehow she needs to get over her earlier dismissal of the paranormal in order to come to terms with her part of it all.
What worked: Loved the quirky voice of this paranormal tale where Parker breathes life into a small Louisianan town that is filled with swamp ghosts, a magical tree, and local lore on the 'Shining'. Candy's life consists of her two BFFs, Abigail and Sterling and her extended cousins who look out for each other. There's also a couple other guys in her school that show their attraction to her in different ways. The dialogue, with it's Southern slang, is punchy and adds to the charm.
The lore and paranormal stories are woven throughout and it takes a few incidents like the new family that moves into town, for Candy to makes sense of a nonsensical rhyme.
Another huge plus is this story doesn't dwell on a romantic angle--yes, there are a few hints of it--but it's mostly a coming of age story where Candy needs to come to terms with her own part of the supernatural occurrences.
Fast-paced Gothic paranormal tale that mesmerizes readers with its atmospheric spooky charm complete with swamp ghosts and a magical tree. A must read for fans of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.
2. Loved the voice which is filled with Southern charm and quirkness