Author: Heather Brewer
When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head.
Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them.
Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.
This book starts out with a great prologue that really grabbed my attention. And it was that prologue that I kept going back to throughout the whole book. I NEEDED to know how it came to that scene and what the outcome of it would be. There was no way I could stop reading until I knew!
Beyond wanting to know how it came to that point that's in the prologue, there was enough other mystery in the book that kept me interested. The whole story around Stephen's mother had my curiosity. I wondered exactly what happened with her - and then when I found out I was super curious to know more, and why and what would happen with her.
Then I wanted to know more about Stephen's dad and the town he grew up in. I mean I knew his father got out of the town of Spencer - but he grew up there and it seems that no one leaves, so how was he able to and what keeps others there. AND I wanted to know if any of that had to do with what was happening with Stephen and the kids he is meeting in Spencer. I just wanted to know how - if at all - it fit together!
Now let me talk about the characters - I really like Stephen. He was a real teenage boy.
The way he spoke and thought was very realistic. I could see him as one of the kids at our high school. That helped me care about him more, and in turn care about the story more! I also liked the characters of Cara and Devon. Devon creeped me out, and I'm not sure how Stephen even wanted to be around him. I would NOT want to come upon him on a dark street alone!! Cara was cool. I liked how she was - she dressed the way she wanted - and did what she wanted. I liked that!
The ending was great with some nice twists and turns leading up to it! I did go "What?!?" at one point because I couldn't believe it! At the end I felt satisfied, but yet I'd be ok with more as well. From what I understand it's a stand alone book, but I do think the ending was done in a way that it could have more, but doesn't have to.
Final thought - fun, mysterious, question creating read!