Review Detail

5.0 1
Young Adult Fiction 2934
A nostalgic setting, plus a little bit of horror and mystery makes FREEKS a win
(Updated: March 26, 2017)
Overall rating
Writing Style
The gorgeous cover pulled me in at a glance. The premise sold me on the story and the 80s setting made me a Hocking fan. There was a lot to love about Freeks and there were some misses as well. The 80s setting was extremely well done. Sometimes it’s easy to forget when you’re reading a book that takes place in the not too distant past, but Hocking gives the reader an occasional gentle reminder that keeps you firmly in the 80s without overdoing it.
Mara is truly a strong, independent girl with a softer side. A very refreshing take on a YA protagonist, so I applaud Hocking for her expertise in creating such a believable character. The entire cast of Freeks was a solid win for me. I loved every single Freek—even some of the non-freeks too.
The pacing of the novel left me frustrated at times as the story seemed to drag on with no answers to my burning questions. The reader is expected to wait until the bitter end to discover anything of what’s happening in Caudry or with the main characters … or anything at all. I prefer a story that delivers answers along the way, driving you to read just one more chapter, one more page until you discover an answer that only makes you ask ten more. Alas, Freeks makes you work for it, but it is all worth it in the end.
As a standalone, I’m not sure the story was fully resolved, as the open ending could segue into a sequel if the author chose to pursue Mara’s story. The world of Freeks is certainly compelling enough to warrant a sequel, and I for one, would enjoy revisiting Mara and Gabe to see where their rag-tag carnie family might end up next.
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