Haunt: Dead Wrong by Curtis Jobling
|Haunt: Dead Wrong by Curtis Jobling|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Will may have been killed, but that doesn't mean he's going anywhere. A riotous, crazy and at times touching story about friendship, mysteries . . . and snogging your dead mate's girl.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: February 2015|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Will and Dougie have been friends for ages. They each understand how the other thinks (well, most of the time) and they stick together through thick and thin. Literally, in fact: Will's dead but somehow he's not only unable to move on to whatever comes next, he actually can't stray more than a few feet away from his best friend. The possibilities for embarrassment are endless.
Just imagine. Your best mate is near at hand as you spend those most private early morning minutes in the loo. And what's more, he's not afraid to comment on the experience. He's permanently awake so he's hanging around your bedroom all night, and you'd better hope you don't talk in your sleep and reveal anything too juicy. Worst of all, you're now going out with the girl he kissed minutes before he died (no, she's not some monster from a horror movie: Will was run over on his way to tell Dougie the good news) and even if he turns his back, he can still hear you whispering sweet nothings in her ear and catching a quick snog. Excruciating, much?
Curtis Jobling must enjoy total recall of his youth: in this, the second in the series, he pulls you immediately into the mind-set of adolescent boys, with all its dramas, wishes and uncertainties. You enter effortlessly into this confusing, exciting and often side-splittingly funny world where banter is king and adults a complete puzzle, and the preoccupations of these thoroughly likeable young males become your own. They're utterly typical of the breed, so that you wouldn't be surprised to bump into Dougie at school (encountering Will might be a bit of a shock) but unlike many books about teen boys these two are not afraid to admit and enjoy the depths of their friendship, however much they may squabble over the little things. They're generous and good-spirited, willing to put their own concerns aside to help each other as well as others in their town, whether alive or dead, but there's nothing of the plaster saint about either of them. They're just really nice guys who've ended up in a bizarre situation.
There's sadness, anxiety and even fear in this story, alongside all the laughter. Dougie's dad is hitting the bottle pretty badly recently for some reason, and Will's not the only spook in town: some, like the Major, are okay, but there's a vicious spirit down at the railway station you wouldn't want to meet at night. In fact, for sheer nastiness you'd be hard pressed to choose between him and some of the live humans Will and Dougie come across.
There's adventure aplenty in this book, with heart-stopping thrills, a spot of deadly peril and a mystery or two to solve. There's also a touching, quite unexpected ending which raises this story above the usual run of buddy-tales. Well worth a read.
Haunt is the first in this funny, fast-paced series. You don't need to read it to enjoy this book, but you'll probably want to! For another book which combines fun, mystery-solving and ghosts, try Divine Freaks by Fiona Dunbar.
You can read more book reviews or buy Haunt: Dead Wrong by Curtis Jobling at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Haunt: Dead Wrong by Curtis Jobling at Amazon.com.
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