Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Hickey of the Beast by Isabel Kunkle

Published: March 15, 2012
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Format: ARC, 273 pages
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
My rating: 2/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads: 

Connie thought freshman year might suck. She never thought it'd be literal.

Bad dreams? No big deal. After all, Connie Perez is starting her first year in the prep school her mom runs. Anyone would be a little stressed, right? When she starts dreaming about strange creatures and places that don't make sense, she doesn't think much about it: there's other stuff on her mind. Then she starts noticing that the people she dreams about get sick right afterwards.

Then everything gets weird.

There's something bad on the campus of Springden Academy. Something that feeds on students and warps their minds. And, as Connie and her friends try to figure out what's going on, it starts to look like she's the only one who can stop it.

Freshman year was hard enough without having to fight evil after class.

Hickey of the Beast is a hilarious look at coming of age in a school where there are no secrets, but plenty of mysteries, and where supernatural studies take on a whole new meaning. It's a story about all the things that make growing up hell: boys, history class, annoying little brothers, and saving the world from evil. When the supernatural comes to school, it's no field day - and that's before you factor in homework.

I need to go ahead and start off this review by saying that I probably would have given this book a higher rating had it been around for me to read when I was about 13 or 14 years of age. I can totally see my younger self liking this book just fine, but unfortunately I'm in my mid-twenties now and just couldn't quite get into Hickey of the Beast.

The premise of the book is actually pretty cool, but the execution of the plot was not what I was expecting. For one, the entire book is basically written like a letter; with Connie (the main character) telling the entire events of this story to her friend Amanda. Although sometimes I forgot this, I'm still not too crazy about this format, but it wasn't exactly a deal-breaker. Unfortunately, I had a hard time actually finishing this book because for the most part, I found it to be boring. But I am glad I pushed through it because the ending was a bit interesting--even though it was pretty obvious who was responsible for all of the sinister activity in the book.

Connie is the main character, and she basically plays the role of detective in this paranormal/mystery themed book. She's a freshman with some unique and previously untapped abilities who, with the help of her friends, has to solve the mystery of who and what are behind some very bizarre and dangerous incidents at school. While I feel like her character wasn't always believable as a 14-year-old, she was decent and likable, and as a plus she did provide me with a few chuckles. There were also a couple of moments where I had to hold my breath because some of the situations Connie got herself into were dangerous and just plain creepy. I do wish Connie's abilities had been elaborated on, though.

Again, let me say that this book wasn't terrible, it just would have been better received by a much younger me. So if you're looking for a paranormal/who-done-it sort of book with a younger vibe to it, then give this one a shot.


  1. I'm reading this one now. So far, I have the same feeling.

    New follower btw!


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