Monday, 29 March 2010
Review: Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings
Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: February 4th, 2010
Grade rating: B
Welcome to Weirdsville! Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it's a place where strange things happen. Even if they won't admit it. Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn't ready to share. Hashim sees more than he'll say, while Kelly's demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily's freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural. Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville!
I don't seem to come across many YA ghost stories, as there doesn't appear to be that many around. It's a shame, because they're a welcome change from vampires and werewolves, and explore a different side of the paranormal world.
Nearly Departed is a creeptastic novel that sent shivers up my spine a couple of times, and even made me check over my shoulder every now and then. I was reading it in the early hours of the morning though, so perhaps that's my own fault. Either way, it was an atmospheric book to be reading in the dead of night, and I enjoyed being a bit spooked.
If you took the characters from UK TV show Skins and threw them into a haunted house, you'd get Nearly Departed. Each character reminded me of someone from that show, although they weren't quite as hardcore when it came to rebelling. Hashim and Jay particularly stood out for me, with Hashim being a smart-mouthed popular football player and Jay the quiet loner with an interest in weird goings on. They all pull together as a team to help Emily, and with the assistance of Kelly and Bethan, end up as a Ghostbusting unit of support.
The twist at the end of the story eluded me (as always), and I was left pretty surprised at the revelations uncovered. The ghost gang put everything together too quickly and easily for my liking, making it seem forced rather than a natural discovery. The ending could have been drawn out for a couple more chapters, allowing for a more believable time frame to figure everything out, and adding a bit more realism to the turn in events.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, and enjoyed my first trip to Weirdsville. Next time, I'll be reading in the daytime, and I urge you all to do the same!