Title: Skeleton Creek (Skeleton Creek #1)
Author: Patrick Carmen
Publication Date: March 1st 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
“Physically, mentally, emotionally — it seems like every part of me is broken in one way or another.”
A breakthrough new series from bestselling author Patrick Carman, featuring text and technology in an innovative new way. Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek . . . and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out. . .and then email the clips for Ryan to see. In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts — Ryan’s text in the book, and Sarah’s videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.
This is a guilty pleasure. I read it in an hour and I had fun with it, I don’t think all books need to do anymore than just that.
Skeleton Creek is about a couple of young teens that want to learn the mystery of an old factory, which they are convinced is haunted. Their parents forbid them to see each other anymore, since they are always getting into something together so they talk to each other through videos and emails.
The story is a pretty basic run-of-the mill ghost story. It’s something you might see on Nickelodeon around Halloween time. The characters are very one-dimensional but really they didn’t need to be anything else for this little story. They were just a couple kids having a creepy adventure basically. One of the biggest highlights of this book was that throughout the book you were given passwords to use on the internet. Once you went onto the site for the novel, you typed in the password given and you were shown small video clip. I thought it added to the experience. No, I wouldn’t want most of my books to be interactive like that, but it was a nice change. Was the acting that you saw in the videos any good? No, of course not, but the campiness of that fact made it actually more enjoyable to me. None of the actors in the videos are going to be winning an Oscar anytime soon but they did an alright job and the videos progressed the story well. Honestly, as a kid this book would have been a five star read to me I’m sure. I think most kids that like creepy ghost stories are going to be into this book.
Overall, the book takes maybe an hour or two to read, and if you can just appreciate it for what it is and go for the ride then it is a good time. I would say this is for kids probably eight and over, unless your child can handle some scarier themes.