Thursday, January 21, 2010

YA Review: Freaksville by Kitty Keswick



High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived.

Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lead in a play, a haunted theater…and into the arms of the Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE? (summary from author's website)

My thoughts...Freaksville is a very unique book.  The majority of the story takes place in an old auditorium which hosted many play and theatrical events over many years.  This was a brilliant setting for the story because it provided a perfect backdrop for romantic and very scary scenes.  The characters find themselves in mortal danger in a number of situations.  Beneath the main level of the stage is a prop storage area.  The prop room is full of old costumes and stage props, definitely a great place to let your imagination run wild.  The basement level also left much to the imagination.  Dark, dusty, old corridors, just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.  The plot of Freaksville was nicely developed.  Interestingly, the story is told not in chapters, but in  entries on the main characters blog.  It even has comments left by readers.  Initially I was not sure if I liked this, but as the story progressed, I found myself anticipating the comments.  The books did not have the fairy tale ending that I expected.  I will be curious where the next book, Furry and Freaked, takes the reader.

The characters in Freaksville were very likable.  Kasey, our heroine, finds herself dealing with a special gift, that keeps revealing itself in new ways.  As her powers increase, she learns to accept it and use it, a task which proves to be difficult.   Gillie, her BFF, is by far my favorite character in the book; she keeps Kasey grounded. Kasey finds herself in the lead of a play with foreign exchange student Josh. The author did a great job of including British lingo which helped keep the story interesting. There was even a dictionary in the back so you could double check the meaning of some of the words.  Overall, I think the characters were well written, funny, and interesting.  In my opinion, Kitty Keswick did a great job of capturing the character's behaviors, speech, and actions for that of sixteen year olds.  The character's relationships did not go beyond "snogging", which kept the story age appropriate. 

Another aspect of the story I enjoyed were the illustrations.  Now whoever made the rules that said chapters books for readers over the age of 10 shouldn't have illustrations is crazy.  Randomly placed pictures gave the reader a nice visual image while reading.  The whole layout of the book was very unique. 

The cons...I read an arc version of the story so it has not been through the final edit.  I found several discrepancies in the character personalities.  Actually, I have already forgotten all but one, so it really didn't effect the story.  There were also one or two parts of the story that were very wierd.  One scene in particular would definitely wierd out any male readers. 

Cover LOVE?  Abso-bloody-lutely!  The full moon on the cover gives suggestions about the story.  The font is bold, but not overdone.  I also like the touch of vines decorating the bottom of the book. 

For more information about Kitty Keswick and Freaksville, visit her website or the Leap Books page for Freaksville. 

If you enjoyed this title, you may also like...
1. Under My Skin by Judith Graves (coming in March)
2. My Prom Date's A Vampire by Kitty Keswick (free read)
3. Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr

*Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for my honest review. 


*Special Thanks to Leap Books!

7 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Cool review.

Kitty Keswick said...

I'm glad you liked Freaksville.
Gillie has a special place in my heart, too. Perhaps the stars will line up and she'll get her own tale.

Best,
Kitty

Becky said...

This sounds fun but like it maybe needs a final edit. Interesting enough though so I think I'd like it.

chelleyreads said...

great review! i think my younger sister would love this book :)

Anonymous said...
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Book Monster said...

I so want to read this, after all my current reads I'll be certainly ordering this one :)

misskallie2000 said...

Loved your review of FREAKSVILLE. I want to read myself but I know both of my grandaughters would love to read (13 yo may have to wait couple of yrs). LOL
You give honest reviews and I really like that. You don't sugar coat or stretch but give a candid opinion of each book. Thanks...

 
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