Book Review: A Properly Unhaunted Place
Happy Tuesday Folks!
How’s your week going so far? Mine’s already a bit hectic, so can we fast-forward to Friday? Pretty please? No? *sigh* Okay, okay, I’ll grin and bear it.
A mad case of the Tuesdays aside, it’s time for another book review!
This time I read A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander.
I actually ordered the paperback version of this book at the beginning of the pandemic. Kinda gives you an idea of how behind I got, huh?
I was actually supposed to read the second book in The Darkest Minds series, but with my DNF of One If: A Virago Fantasy, I wasn’t quite ready to jump back in yet. It also turns out I’m still not ready (more on that in another post).
Anywho, I love spooky MG books, so this was an easy choice from my personal bookshelves at home. How did I like it? Keep on reading!
Rosa Ramona Díaz has just moved to the small, un-haunted town of Ingot—the only ghost-free town in the world. She doesn’t want to be there. She doesn’t understand how her mother—a librarian who specializes in ghost-appeasement—could possibly want to live in a place with no ghosts. Frankly, she doesn’t understand why anyone would.
Jasper Chevalier has always lived in Ingot. His father plays a knight at the local Renaissance Festival, and his mother plays the queen. Jasper has never seen a ghost, and can’t imagine his un-haunted town any other way. Then an apparition thunders into the festival grounds and turns the quiet town upside down.
Something otherworldly is about to be unleashed, and Rosa will need all her ghost appeasement tools—and a little help from Jasper—to rein in the angry spirits and restore peace to Ingot before it’s too late.
I gave this book three and a half stars.
This book centers around a young girl named Rosa Diaz. She recently moved to Ingot Town with her mother, a famous ghost appeasement specialist. Unlike all the other places she’s been, this place doesn’t seem to have any hauntings. However, she soon discovers that there is much more to Ingot Town than meets the eye, and it just may threaten the lives of everyone that lives there.
This was my first time reading something by this author, and overall I had a fun time.
Rosa was a strong main character. She’s brash, opinionated, and quite the junior ghost appeasement specialist. I liked how outspoken she was throughout, but it would have been nice to see more vulnerability or range with her emotions. She kind of charged through this adventure with one or two notes, though it does make sense given what stage of the grieving process she’s in(she had a recent death in her family).
Jasper was a sidekick to this adventure, a great yin to her yang. His questioning of Rosa’s knowledge of ghostly things helped explain things to the reader, making him extremely useful. He also had his own demons to tackle in this book. Go get em, Jasper!
One character I wish we would’ve seen more of is Rosa’s mom. No offense, but she was pretty useless given her reputation. Okay, she does get mildly involved in things and given what happens it’s understandable (no spoilers!), but overall Rosa is left to deal with things on her own. That’s fine and all, but my issue was that her mother seemed to think this was okay, and that painted her in a negative light for me.
The plot and concept of this book was really great! I loved the spooky knowledge we get glimpses of, and this world is chock-full of spirits. I mean, they are everywhere, and each little tidbit really got my attention, especially one involving gargoyles. The element of mystery was really present, and I enjoyed each chapter.
One thing I had something of a disconnect with was the style of writing. The perspective is cut between Jasper and Rosa in third person, which should be right up my alley. However, I personally feel that I never fully got into Jasper or Rosa’s mind. Very close, but not quite, and that kind of slowed me down and drew me out of the story. The writing could get a bit choppy in spots, and that also slowed me down. I wanted each page to flow like butter, and it simply didn’t for me.
Ultimately, this is a fun spooky read that I think MG readers will have fun with. Yes, it’s not perfect, but if you love a little bit of mystery and ghostly happenings, it’s worth giving a read.
That’s a Wrap!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!
Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!
If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out the book review section of my blog or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!
Have a great day!
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