Friday, 31 October 2014

The Haunting of Tabitha Grey by Vanessa Curtis

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I look up at the dark, unblinking eyes of the house
and I get the weirdest feeling . . . It’s the feeling of being pulled into something and being unable to stop it happening . . .
Published by Egmont in 2012 
296 pages in paperback – also available as an ebook
Tabitha is used to changing schools and moving house. But when her family move into Weston Manor, something is different. It’s as if the house has been waiting for her. There are lavender smells which come from nowhere and the old servants’ bells ring in the night. She can hear crying in empty rooms. Tabitha’s always been imaginative. Even her best friend Gemma knows that. But this time, could she actually be telling the truth? 
Summary adapted from Hive.co.uk
Set in a sprawling Victorian manor, this spine-tingling ghost story, The Haunting of Tabitha Grey is filled with intriguing plot twists and enough tension to keep 11+ readers on their toes. A classic ghost story from Vanessa Curtis, author of Zelah Green, Queen of Clean and The Baking Life of Amelie Day .
******
This is a ghost story for people who don’t like ghost stories.
It does have an old house with mysteries at the core of it to suit those who do – but it’s more than just an entertaining chiller. There’s real heart and depth to this story.
Told from the point of view of Tabitha, it is deceptively simple to read. There’s plenty of contemporary family drama as well as possible unearthly goings-on to keep the reader engaged. Ideal for teens and upwards, the cleverness is in the psychology, not in difficult prose. 
It’s told as if everything is happening now – so we can’t know what happens to Tabitha and her family until the end. This makes for more suspense and a better understanding at the moving conclusion. As you get to know her family, you really want things to work out - somehow.
The cover artwork is so effective. It leaves the reader in no doubt that there’s something eerie happening – but allows them to imagine freely. I rather wish there was no pink at all on the paperback. It would be a pity if boys were reluctant to read it because of this – it’s full of twists and turns that anyone can enjoy.
All-in-all, an ideal Halloween read for those who love ghost stories – and even some who don’t.

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