Review of Whispering Pines

September 10, 2020 Book Reviews 8

Review of Whispering Pines

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Whispering Pines by Heidi Lang, Kati Bartkowski
Genres: Middle Grade, Horror
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 1, 2020
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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A young boy and girl who must protect their small town from otherworldly forces threatening to destroy it.
Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.
The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.
No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird—starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business.
When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.

Here is what I thought

I put this one on my most anticipated reads for middle grade because it just sounded so fun and good and boy I was not disappointed! I think it was probably better than I imagined and super creepy for a middle grade! Add it to your reads for spooky season now! 🙂

When I started this it wasn’t even on my tbr for the month but the two books I was reading just wasn’t really wowing me so I decided to grab this one as it came out this month and I needed to read it. It then took over my reading as I had to find out what happened next!

Rae, her older sister and her mother are moving to Whispering Pines, a place Rae soon finds out is super strange. One of the first things she sees is the boy next door pouring salt around his house. Then she meets a girl who is a little older than her but seems really nice and Rae is thinking that maybe this town will be a place she can start over.

Rae’s father went missing after he may have found something in the work he was doing. Everyone in her old town think that he ran off with a co-worker but Rae knows the truth because she has the proof, but when she tells her friend she finds out soon that maybe she should have kept things to herself and her friend wasn’t really a friend. So she has decided she will act differently at this new school and make friends, but she soon finds out that Whispering Pines is full of strange.

The next day at school she was excited to have Brandi take her around but finds out she didn’t show up. Then a code yellow is announced which she finds out means a child has gone missing. It seems that this kind of thing happens more often that it should and that sometimes they are found and sometimes they are not. Some come wondering out of the woods missing their eyes!

Rae wants to find out what happened to her friend and Caden is a boy who everyone thinks killed his brother and is the strange kid from next door. He also wants to find out what is happening and they soon make unlikely allies as they try and investigate what is happening. The only thing is, is Caden knows what happened to his brother and it’s partly his fault and now it seems like his ghost is haunting him. Caden’s family are ghost hunters and Caden has an ability to sense things and has a horrible dream about something bad happening to Rae.

There is also another girl Vivienne who befriends Rae and is a little strange as she always carries a large backpack with her and won’t be anywhere without it. She gets involved in helping them out but she has her own agenda with what is going on.

I really liked the characters in this one. Rae, knows things that maybe her family doesn’t about what happened to her father. They don’t believe her or so she thinks just like those at her old school. It puts a rift between her and her sister but she finds out along the way that maybe her sister hadn’t gave up on her father like she thought.  Caden feels bad about what happened to his brother and is seen as the weird kid, he has always been different and so making friends hasn’t been something he did very well. Vivienne is strange but it’s because she has a secret. I even liked Alyssa who was kind of mean but then her mother was the principle and super mean so you can kind of sympathize with her.

I thought for a middle grade book that this was really creepy and spooky. It had such a strange vibe to the town with nobody being able to have chalk, to the missing kids with no eyes and creepy things in the woods! Just a number of things to lend a bit of spooky to the story. This will be great for kids who love spooky reads but I might say maybe older young readers and to know your kid leave of scare they can handle. It’s also perfect for adults who want a little spooky but not get to scared…lol

Oh and also it has a little bit of a cliffhanger ending! Gah, I had to immediately tweet out the authors and ask if there was another one coming. They said yes and so I am sure that will be on my most anticipated for next year! I want it now!

So I have to say that I really enjoyed this one and haven’t been this excited about reading a book in a while. I mean I want to kind of gush about how much I enjoyed this…lol. For once I have to agree with what is says about X-files meets Stranger Things! I highly recommend this super fun creepy read! 🙂

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