Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Doll Bones

by Holly Black
published: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013
pages: 247

Zach, Pippa and Alice love to play in their imaginary world with their action figures and dolls.  They've known each other forever and have been playing their game for as long as they can remember.  But when Zach's dad throws out all of his action figures and declares him too old to being playing with dolls, their game comes to a screeching halt.  Zach, being angry and confused, refuses to play or to explain why he stopped.  It isn't until the girls show up claiming they need to return a haunted doll to it's rightful place that Zach starts to look at his life and make his own decisions.

This book is really cool.  The imagination of these three kids are amazing.  I love the system they use to play.  All three create a story they play out with their characters, who almost seem real. They are allowed to ask each other questions about the characters outside of play time, which is really interesting because it allows them to further develop their own characters as well as give hints about themselves.  It is a really cool characterization device that's used throughout the story.

Zach was a great character.  He struggles to figure out where he belongs in school and with his friends.  He likes playing the game with Pippa and Alice, but feel like he should like hanging out with the basketball team more.  Part of this comes from his relationship with his father.  The dynamic between these characters created tension that was needed to move the story along.  Alice and Pippa also great contrasting characters that feed off of one another.

The road trip in this book is what really kept the book from being slow paced.  It takes us to different settings and gets the kids into all kinds of mischief and trouble.  I always love a well placed road trip and this one is no exception.

Holly Black does a great job at creating an eerie environment to tell this chilling but fun tale.  It was an enjoyable read.

Stars: 3/5


"Every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness.  Spooky, melancholy, elegiac, and ultimately hopeful; a small gem."
     --Kirkus Reviews

"Compelling, chill-at-the-nape tale with dynamics and emotional depth... The novel's eerie vibe and eek-worthy plot may keep readers turning pages into the wee hours, but it's the vivid characters and skillfully developed themes of identity, friendship and loss that linger long in the mind."
   --The Washington Post

"A darn good adventure."
     --Publishers Weekly

A 2015 Newbery Reading Challenge book.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely review^^ I've been wanting to read this one for ages but I haven't done so yet. Thanks for reminding me to check it out asap :) I love a good MG read! And I like eerie in a MG book too - probably because I don't do so well with scary adult books LOL