Lure by Deborah Kerbel
Pub. Date: September 20th, 2010
Age Level: 12+
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for honest review.
Synopsis via Goodreads
A Victorian garden, a fishing lure, and a ghost named John.
Absolutely nothing is going right for Max Green. His parents have just uprooted their family from Vancouver to the bleak suburbs of Toronto, he has no friends, and everybody at his new high school is ignoring him. To make matters worse, he's in love with an older girl who's completely out of his league.
When Max discovers a local library rumored to be haunted by ghosts, he's immediately drawn to it. With the help of some cryptic messages, he begins to piece together the identity of the teenage ghost and the mysterious chain of events that have connected its spirit to the building for over a century. But just who was John, anyway? Why has he chosen to contact Max? And what does an old fishing lure have to do with solving the mystery?
Lure is a subtle, keenly crafted ghost story that is at once both haunting and poignant. After reading, and loving, Kerbel's two contemporary YA novels, I was very curious to see how well she could pull off something like Lure. Well, no surprise here, she definitely didn't disappoint and has me relishing her talent and ability as an author all the more.
Both Max and John were well written, realistic male protagonists. I was able to easily connect with each of them and became equally absorbed in both their sides of the story, though for different reasons. I felt Max's witty humor expertly contrasted the grim side of John's life, yet they still shared similar characteristics. I thought Kerbel also did a great job on the supporting characters as well. Caroline was the sweet, quirky type--the kind of person I'd like to have as a friend--and Max's companion for most of his duration of the novel. Then there was William, John's cousin, who is a serious bully and while I never liked him, there were times I almost felt bad for him considering his circumstances.
Lure is more of a low-key ghost story in comparison to some. At first I was somewhat disappointed by this; I wanted a bit more scare. However, I did grow to like it as I found Kerbel really made it work for this book. The fear, suspense, and eeriness were more underlying instead of right up in my face, yet they were still noticeably there. I loved that while sometimes I knew what was going to happen, I didn't know how or why, which really kept me turning the pages. The setting and plot really lured me into it's depths, showing me how the title, Lure, easily applied to two aspects of this story. The historical incorporation wasn't overpowering yet it still enhanced my reading experience. For example, the fact that the library in Lure actually exists made everything all the more intriguing.
Kerbel continues to impress me with her writing ability in Lure. The tone was set perfectly to provide that slightly eerie atmosphere and everything came so vividly to mind. The writing flowed seamlessly from page to page and provided the perfect pacing. The alternating perspectives were well done with each character getting the same amount of attention.
The ending took me for a bit of a surprise and I couldn't help thinking, "How did I not see that coming?" I thought Kerbel ended John's story perfectly but I really wanted more from Max's.
Lure is the perfect read for the Autumn time of the year, especially around Halloween. With an unobtrusive intensity, a chilling mystery, and lovely writing, this is one book you won't want to miss out on. While I enjoy a moderate amount of scariness in a story, I've never been one to like what you would call true horror. If you are the same way then this book is perfect for you and even those true horror fans might like it as well. Even though it's written for YA, I can also easily see Lure appealing to adults. Either way, I highly recommend this engrossing read and can't wait for more work from Kerbel.
Site Announcements, Updates, Etc
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
Monday, October 25, 2010
Lure by Deborah Kerbel
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 10/25/2010 06:38:00 AM