Disclaimer: I received this e-audiobook arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: The Curse of Spectacle Key
Author: Chantel Acevedo
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Cuban MC
Recommended For…: middle grade readers, horror, paranormal, ghosts, lighthouses
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Genre: MG Paranormal Horror
Age Relevance: 11+ (death, grief, ghosts, some scary moments)
Explanation of Above: Death and grief are slightly discussed in the book and mentioned. There are ghosts in this book and there are some scary moments that might be a little much for some sensitive readers.
Publisher: Balzar & Bray/HarperTeen
Synopsis: Frank Fernandez’s family never stays in one place for long. His parents renovate unusual buildings and turn them into homes, which means the family moves–a lot. This makes it hard for bookish Frank to make friends. So when his parents announce they’re moving to Spectacle Key, Florida, to live in a lighthouse–this time for good!–Frank is thrilled.
But Spectacle Key isn’t the perfect forever home they’d imagined. The lighthouse is falling apart. There are knocks on the door–but no one is there–and mysterious sighs and sniffles from nowhere. There’s even a creepy doll that seems to move on its own. Could Spectacle Key be haunted?
Then one day while exploring, Frank meets a girl in old-fashioned clothes, with no memory of who she is. What she does know, though, is that the island is under a curse–and she needs Frank’s help to figure out how to lift it. But what if learning the truth about Spectacle Key means losing the first real friend he’s ever had?
Review: I really loved this sweet horror story! This book is very well written, combining horror, along with some classical horror elements, and messages about the importance of family and community. The book talked about English subtext, which is slightly featured throughout the book, and the MC is a little book nerd, which makes my heart happy. The book also discussed moving and had a lot of fun and comedic writing in it. The character development was well done, the world building was great, and I am now a fan of Chantel Acevedo’s writing!
The only issue I had with the book is that I wish some of the loose ends at the end were talked about. I would have loved to see more about the ghosts!
Verdict: It’s so well done! Highly recommend!