Review for The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

Review for The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street

“It’s a face. A small… very young.. very little-girlish face is reflected in the mirror. I bring a hand to my mouth to keep horrible four-letter words from spilling out. Unlike the soft smile on the statue of Inez Clarke, this face is dark. Frightening. Pitch-black eyes like the night are set against porcelain skin, and her lips are pale. She doesn’t look happy. She doesn’t look alive.”

So I was really excited when one of my libraries had this book in their collection! I have been hoping to read this one for some time. And this was just as good, no, it was even better than I had hoped. It was creepy, spooky, gave me serious nope feelings (see quote above), and I definitely loved the ending and how everything was resolved in the ghost case.

Tessa, a girl who has to leave everything behind when her dad gets a great offer in Chicago. You can imagine she is not a happy girl. She has to leave her best friend behind, the sunny weather, a beautiful home, the beach and has to trade that with being the new girl at a school, droopy weather, and add to that a house that is haunted! As you can imagine it isn’t going to be easy for Tessa.

But Tessa thankfully quickly makes friends with a boy she met during her first day, and following that friends with his friends. I also loved that they believed her when she told them about the haunting. Well, OK, Nina especially was totally delighted with the ghost stuff, and it took Andrew a bit longer to fully believe (or he was just telling himself everything had a science explanation).

I loved how she got a bit braver with each night, yes, she was frightened as hell, but still was trying to help out Inez. Many others would probably have run away, or cried and hid.

Plus I liked how creative she was. I would have loved to see her art. It was quite a nice touch that this connected her with Inez.

I did think it was a bit weird how hard she was pushing for a cellphone. You have one landline and don’t want to hog that? I am sure that no one will mind if you use it at times. Especially since the internet isn’t going to block that one line. You have email on the laptop, and you can even install whatsapp on there without having a phone (it just takes some work). A flashlight? You can easily bring a small light yourself (you have such cute little ones). As for getting lost, seriously, how did everyone manage before a phone rolls with her eyes. And then there is leaving messages, yes, it didn’t work with a ghost around, but come on. Can’t you just wait until your mom/dad come home to tell them? Does it need to be done instantly? I feel sorry if I ever get a kid, because me and my boyfriend both agree that there will be no cellphones until the kid is at least 13 and going to high school. 😛 And then it will be just a simple phone. RIP my kid.

The haunting was truly frightening. Good grief, and then it doesn’t help I was alone and it was slowly getting dark as night settled in. There were times I was just NOPING my way out of the book as it just got a bit too much for me. Like that bathroom scene, or the mirror scene, that puppet also doesn’t help (I hate dolls/puppets), and well, tons of others. The author really wrote the haunting perfectly. Just the right amount of NOPE and creepy and frightening, while also making it slightly sad when you find out what is going on with Inez.

Inez/Amos, I just knew from the start what was going on, and was amazed that the kids didn’t know. Still it was fun to see the kids figure it out, and get to the bottom of what was going on.

The pacing was generally OK, though I have to say that I had to flip back a few times because it felt like much more time passed by. For instance often it didn’t feel like 4 days just passed, instead I thought it was 2 weeks. The Cassidy situation was handled a bit too easily in my opinion. It just felt a bit too much like an afterthought, like something that still had to be solved (as it happened in the last 50 or so pages, and also around the time the ghost mystery was coming to a close).

Then I noticed this. At one point Andrew says to Tessa: “Today is Thursday, your fourth day here”, yet when Nina comes to our duo just a bit later on that day, she says: “Mr. Bossy Pants here dragged me out of Film Club. It only happens once a week – on Wednesdays-…..”
I also noticed that Richie was misspelled as Ritchie at least once (but it may have happened more).

The ending was pretty sweet. On the one hand I would have seen an ending with chaos, but this one fitted even better with the situation. I loved the realisation that Tessa had (I didn’t see it, but now that it is said, I can look back and indeed, she did all that), and I loved what Tessa (and her new friends) did for Inez.

All in all, if you are looking for a creepy book with some great friendship and a sweet ending, be sure to add this one to your list.

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