Hildy Biddle dreams of being a journalist. A reporter for her high school newspaper, The Core, she’s just waiting for a chance to prove herself. Not content to just cover school issues, Hildy’s drawn to the town’s big story— the haunted old Ludlow house. On the surface, Banesville, USA, seems like such a happy place, but lately, eerie happenings and ghostly sightings are making Hildy take a deeper look. And she suspects the editor of The Bee, the town newspaper, is more interested in selling papers than he is in reporting the facts to a frightened public.
Hildy’s efforts to find out who is really haunting Banesville isn’t making her popular, and she starts wondering if she’s cut out to be a journalist, after all. But she refuses to give up, because, hopefully, the truth will set a few ghosts free.
(Thank you to JL for this book! I loved it!)
You shouldn't quote an ARC, but I will either way. *ahem*
"Courage isn't all it's cracked up to be. I thought it came with some big rush of confidence and adrenaline.
Instead, I just kept moving forward, wondering.
What am I doing?
Is it the right thing?"
As of finishing Peeled, I have to say, without a doubt, it’s getting some big smiles la Steph. It appealed to me tremendously to begin with, because of the journalism element and the fact it’s set in the country. No need to say more—I love tranquil stories and nothing like a little country haze to get effect.
Onward. I’m going to try this new thing where I’ll say the bad things before the positive, so I can end this review on a good note. (After all, I’d hate to go the other way and have a bittersweet ending; this is supposed to be a positive review.)
The character development was a little off. I’m not one to get all judgmental about showing and telling and all those perceived be-all-and-end-all writing rules1 but I do think Joan Bauer could’ve expanded some scenes in order to achieve a cast filled with defined, distinct voices. (This is especially true with Zack—I’d love to know some more about him.) Consequently, because of the shift between drawing on some traits instead of letting the characters grow into them, their interaction also suffered.
That said, I really loved Hildy. She was strong and knew the true feeling that often accompanies bravery is uncertainty, not confidence. She was interesting by her own virtue and her own conviction, because of what was inside of her. It was refreshing to see a character who didn’t curse, who didn’t drink, who didn’t smoke or snort up crap. A character who, when presented with a social problem that threatened her entire town, did not turn unto herself and cause internal damage but rather fought for the values and life she was given.
Which brings me to the plot. Could this be any more pertinent to us teens? I would love to see some more thoughtful and thought-provoking stories such as this one. I won’t give away any of the setup—the book description says enough. All I’m saying is: If you’re looking for something that touches on politics and social dilemmas, this book = perfect for you.