Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1612
Perfect spooky story for middle grade readers
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Avery enjoys spending summers at her Grandma’s Southern farm with her brother, but this year is different. Her brother no longer wants to play their imaginary games, so now Avery is left to her own devices. When she meets Julian, a boy also staying in the area for the summer, the two begin a film project about the creepy Hilliard House, a place that Avery has been forbidden to go to. As the project develops, Avery will uncover spooky secrets, a strange mystery, and learn the meaning of friendship.

GHOSTLIGHT by Sonia Gensler has a phenomenal setting, perfect for a young scary story. Gensler captures the Southern, small town atmosphere wonderfully, and the mysterious Hilliard House makes for an enjoyable and entertaining tale.

As exciting as the spooky moments in the story are, the depth of the family dynamics stole the show for me. Gensler explores several different types of relationships, from brother and sister to son and father to parent and grandparent. There are many serious undercurrent themes, such as when Avery feels a little lonely when her mother is too busy to give her attention and especially Julian’s complex relationship with his mother who has a mental illness. There is even a glimpse at the nuances between family members with different religious views, such as Avery’s mother and grandmother. Gensler incorporates all of these relationships and more smoothly, giving the reader plenty of room to think about the themes and ideas on his or her own.

As much as I do like this story, there are areas that are a bit slow and drag. In those areas, I found my attention easily diverting elsewhere, but this slower pacing at times definitely makes the unveiling of the big mystery richer and well worth the wait.

GHOSTLIGHT is a stellar, spooky story perfect for middle grade readers looking for a good Halloween time book. The complex family relationships take the story to a deep level, and the creepiness of the Hilliard House will keep readers highly entertained.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

A Sprinkle of Spirits (Love Sugar Magic, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leonora Logroño has finally been introduced to her family’s bakery...
The Order of Time
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
“If you’re into secret societies, time-travel, dangerous artifacts, deadly assassins,...
Thomas Edison
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Learn about the life of Thomas Edison in this early...
Pete the Cat: 5-Minute Bedtime Stories: Includes 12 Cozy Stories!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Pete the Cat for 12 groovy, cozy stories perfect...
Sabina: In the Eye of the Storm
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As in Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" and...
Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A stunning non-fiction picture book about the origins of the...
Ty's Travels: All Aboard!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Ty on his imaginative adventures in Ty's Travels: All...
Cuddle Close, Little Koala
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A reassuring bedtime story about the special bond between a...
We Are Together
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The power of love and friendship is celebrated in this...
Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been...
Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
"A thrilling adventure, through a vibrant city as alive as...
Shadow of the Batgirl
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Cassandra Cain, teenage assassin, isn't exactly Batgirl material...yet. Will she...
Of Ice and Shadows
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The long-awaited sequel to Of Fire and Stars—in which Mare...
Agnes at the End of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Handmaid's Tale meets Wilder Girls in this genre-defying novel...
My Love is All Around
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mommy Bear shows Baby Bear how love is all around...
I'm not a Mouse!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia really doesn't like her nickname - mostly because it...

Latest Member Reviews

A Sprinkle of Spirits (Love Sugar Magic, #2)
 
5.0
"A SPRINKLE OF SPIRITS is the delightful second book in the LOVE SUGAR MAGIC middle grade series. Leo is a..."
The Order of Time
 
3.0
"THE ORDER OF TIME by Scott P. Southall is a Middle Grade Sci-Fi Fantasy novel. The story follows two twins,..."
Pete the Cat: 5-Minute Bedtime Stories: Includes 12 Cozy Stories!
 
5.0
"'Pete the Cat 5-Minute Bedtime Stories' by Kimberly and James Dean is an adorable storybook that any lover of children's..."
Ty's Travels: All Aboard!
 
5.0
"'Ty's Travels: All Aboard!' by Kelly Starling Lyons, pictures by Nina Mata, is an adorable story of Ty and his..."
Cuddle Close, Little Koala
 
4.0
"CUDDLE CLOSE, LITTLE KOALA is a sweet story of the special connection between mother and child. Little Koala is lost..."
We Are Together
 
3.5
"WE ARE TOGETHER is a book about activism and teamwork. In the form of a rhyming poem, the book stresses..."
My Love is All Around
 
4.5
"MY LOVE IS ALL AROUND is a sweet book about love between parent and child and the many ways in..."
I'm not a Mouse!
 
4.0
"I'M NOT A MOUSE! is a cute picture book about nicknames. Olivia's mother always calls her mouse, and she doesn't..."
My Panda Sweater
 
5.0
"MY PANDA SWEATER is a lovely book about the way that clothes can affect us. A young girl loves her..."
One Day on our Blue Planet... In the Outback
 
4.0
"ONE DAY ON OUR BLUE PLANET... IN THE OUTBACK is a picture book that follows a red kangaroo joey through..."
Mrs Bibi's Elephant
 
5.0
"MRS BIBI'S ELEPHANT is a sweet story about the special place we have in our hearts for our pets. Mrs...."
Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies
 
4.0
""Written" by dwarf Nord Diggums with contributions from experts in the field of magical creatures such as Professor Ivana Therey..."
Super Puzzletastic Mysteries: Short Stories for Young Sleuths from Mystery Writers of America
 
5.0
"Short story collections are hard to review, especially when one includes so many fantastic authors! My students will be glad..."
Daniela and the Pirate Girls
 
3.5
"DANIELA AND THE PIRATE GIRLS is a fun high-seas adventure about helping others and making new friends. Daniela is the..."
Child of Galaxies
 
4.0
"CHILD OF GALAXIES is a lovely poem about life and the broad meaning of it all. The poem begins by..."
Shy Ones
 
5.0
"SHY ONES is a sweet look at friendship and the people (or sea creatures) who are shy. The story is..."
Once Upon an Eid
 
5.0
"This collection has a wide variety of stories about different aspects of Eid, and is particularly poignant during this time..."
Slamdown Town
 
4.0
"Ollie is in 6th grade and is small for his age. His older brother, Hollis, is in 8th, and has..."
Ragweed and Poppy
 
3.5
"RAGWEED AND POPPY is an interesting middle grade novel that follows Ragweed, a mouse who is on a journey. Ragweed..."
The Right Place
 
3.5
"THE RIGHT PLACE is a picture book that stresses the importance of friends and home. Squirrel wakes up after a..."