Disclaimer: I received this book for free from KidLitExchange and Scholastic! Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Genre: MG Mystery… uhhhh…. Video Game Retelling???
Recommended Age: 10+ (some death and conspiracy and mild hints of domestic violence… also a bit about parents losing their jobs and that made me sad and I’m like 27 so it might slightly upset some kids)
Synopsis: Nicky Roth has always been a lonely kid. But that all changes when he and his family move to Raven Brooks and meet their eccentric neighbors, the Petersons. Nicky befriends the Petersons’ son, Aaron, bonding over their talents for tinkering. Soon the boys are inseparable and using their skills to pull pranks on the townspeople.But something about Aaron bothers Nicky–people seem almost afraid of him and his family. Through snippets from Aaron and a lot of sleuthing in the town’s archives, Nicky discovers a dark past haunting his neighbors, a streak of bad luck they can’t seem to shake. Aaron thinks that’s all behind them now, but Nicky has a feeling the Petersons are fated for another tragedy. . . .This pulse-pounding prequel novel to the hit video game Hello Neighbor includes two-color illustrations throughout, to help readers unwind the mystery at the heart of the game.
So a lot of people wouldn’t think that I’m a gamer but oh baby I’m an avid gamer. I love any video games and I really like ones that leave room for conspiracy theories. One of the hottest games that does that for me at the moment is Hello Neighbor. It’s a first person POV game in which you live across the street from this creepy dude (see front cover) who has some strange habits. You sneak over and try to solve the mystery to the weird rooms he has and the noises from the basement. I will say that this is one of the creepiest and scariest games in the more recent couple of years for video games and I’d put this video game up there with Five Nights At Freddy’s. So the reason why I was attracted to this book was that I was curious to see if this book connected to the video game at all and surprisingly it did! I felt that the book did well to mesh itself with the video game and that the character development was amazing. The plot was intriguing and interesting. And the writing was engaging and it drew me into the story immediately.
My only con about this was that the book tended to jump around a bit randomly and without notice. IT was kinda jarring. Also the ending was ambiguous but since we have the video game we kinda know what eventually happens, but the ending left it vague as to the bridge between it and the video game. Maybe it left it open so another book could come out, but it’s a tad annoying none the less.
Verdict: If you’re a fan of video games, you’ll love this book.