Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The Page Turners

The Page Turners by Kevin Johns brings us a dose of the supernatural combined with some real life teen social issues. Fans of the X-Files or Fright Night will love this story of three outcasts who have to fight for their lives after they release an evil villain from the pages of a book.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Have you ever felt abandoned by your parents? 
 Ignored by your teacher?
 Betrayed by your peers? 
 Have you ever felt more of a connection to the characters in the books you read than to people in the real world? 
 Have you experienced the loneliness of being the only person in your little community who dreams of something bigger
 Nate Bourdain has.
In The Page Turners: Blood, Nate and his friends are thrilled to discover an ancient book of magic hidden in the school library--they now have the means to stand up to villains that make high-school life such a battle. But, when the book's dark magic releases a fictional killer into the real world, the teens must prove they have what it takes to be heroes, or fall as bloody victims in their own horror story turned real.

Many kids have been in Nate's shoes.  He and his friends are the representative teens who are misunderstood, who get pushed aside and bullied and who have personal issues at home. They live for their books and support each other.  There is drama surrounding each one of them and their problems are an integral part of the story, helping the reader really connect to each boy and empathize with what they are dealing with.  I found myself routing for them throughout the entire story.

The story is fast paced and easily read in one sitting.  Part of me wished it were a bit longer and I would have liked to see more of Danny's sister.  The book reminded me quite a bit of the movie Fright Night and the basement scenes with the coffin and Marie gave a definite nod to some older Dracula movies as well.  The story had some very dark parts to it and the fear the boys felt was almost palpable.  As you read, there seem to be three tiers to the story.  The bottom tier is the boys and their personal dramas, the middle tier is the vampire story and their fight to save Marie, and the upper tier is a bigger story, the story that hasn't really had a chance to start yet.  The reader is given small clues such as a police officer's strange phone call, lights in the sky, an inkling of a larger part of the spell that the boys released.  This upper tier however, will be left for the next installment of the story.  It will be interesting to see these boys again and how they deal with the new threat. 

This is the first book in a trilogy.  If you enjoy YA supernatural stories and don't mind some teen angst thrown into it, this is an engaging read.


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