Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 4th February 2010
“I’ve seen a ghost,” said Emily. “Well, not seen one exactly. Heard one. At least, I think I have…”
Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it’s a place where strange things happen, even if they won’t admit it.
Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn’t ready to share. Hashim sees more than he’ll say, while Kelly’s demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily’s freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural.
Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville…
Nearly Departed is the creepy first book in a new ghostly series from Rook Hastings and I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.
The group of friends - Kelly, Emily, Bethan, Jay and Hashim - that Nearly Departed centres around each have distinct and well fleshed-out personalities and are all very different to each other. Jay is the geek who loves science, maths and Kelly; Hashim is the gorgeous, popular, football-playing guy that sees more than he lets on; Kelly is the fierce, scary girl with a broken home; Bethan is a misunderstood ‘emo’ who can’t wait to get out of Woodsville and Emily if the girl who sits at the back of the class that nobody notices. After being thrown together for a homework assignment, the five inexplicably become friends and begin to unravel the weirdness of Woodsville.
A nearly omniscient narrator gives Nearly Departed a subtly creepy atmosphere that fit the gang’s description of Woodsville perfectly. In the beginning, Nearly Departed follows a regular ghost story format: someone tells them there’s a ghost, they go on a ghost hunt and nothing goes to plan. That’s where the similarities end. Shocking twists and terrifying encounters made me hold my breath and the equally surprising events that followed left me suitably creeped out.
With a brilliant foundation for the next book and an individual writing style, I’ll definitely be reading more of the Welcome to Weirdsville series.
For my 2010 100+ Reading Challenge