October 10, 2017
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A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.
Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.
When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.
With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is a fun ghost story and story of friendship. Tessa has to deal with a mix of both the normal things (new school and new friend anxieties, missing her best friend, cold weather, everything being unfamiliar) and the not so normal (flickering lights, drawings appearing on her sketchpad, strange noises) when her family moves from Florida to Chicago.
Even if everything were normal, with no paranormal happenings, the move would be a lot for the twelve-year-old. Add in the weird occurrences and she's ready to go back to Fort Myers. If her new friends can help, maybe she can stay - and like it.
I really enjoyed the blend of Tessa's adjustment to a new town, new house and new school with the supernatural elements. The way they worked together from how Tessa's feelings about her house impacted her feelings about Chicago to it all gave her something to talk to her potential new friends about, was done very well.
There were a few inconsistencies or inaccuracies that pulled me out of the story a bit. They were not things that really affected the story but they were distracting.
The relationship Tessa has with her parents was nicely done. Though her character could, at times, feel younger than twelve, I liked how the situation (the move first, then the weird events at the house) allowed us to see different aspects of their relationship than we otherwise would have. The author also did a nice job including different types of parenting while having them all be loving and involved.
digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley