I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on August 4th 2015
Things that go bump in the night are just the beginning when a summer film project becomes a real-life ghost story!
Avery is looking forward to another summer at Grandma’s farm, at least until her brother says he’s too old for “Kingdom,” the imaginary world they’d spent years creating. Lucky for her, there’s a new kid staying in the cottage down the road: a city boy with a famous dad, Julian’s more than a little full of himself, but he’s also a storyteller like Avery. So when he announces his plan to film a ghost story, Avery is eager to join in.
Unfortunately, Julian wants to film at Hilliard House, a looming, empty mansion that Grandma has absolutely forbidden her to enter. As terrified as Avery is of Grandma’s wrath, the allure of filmmaking is impossible to resist.
As the kids explore the secrets of Hilliard house, eerie things begin to happen, and the “imaginary” dangers in their movie threaten to become very real. Have Avery and Julian awakened a menacing presence? Can they turn back before they go too far?
Ghostlight is the story of Avery, a girl who stays with her Grandma every summer with her older brother Blake. When he shuns her idea of keeping their imaginary Kingdom going, she finds herself befriending a boy named Julian, whose dad is a famous musician, renting out their cottage for a summer to write music. Julian is way into filmmaking and has his eyes set on the Hilliard House, an abandoned old house that gives Avery the creeps. She has her own history with the house that unveils itself during the novel.
Avery is brave and decides to help Julian with his project, even if it means stealing the key to Hilliard House and having to break all of her Grandma’s rules. What she doesn’t realize is there’s more to her getting in trouble that scares her about breaking into the Hilliard House. Avery has her own past troubles with the house that she has forgotten about. Some of it surfaces and it makes for quite a creepy build up. The whole book had quite a creepy feeling to it. I loved the setting and the characters. Avery definitely can be a hothead and gets herself into trouble a lot with her family.
There’s a lot more to the story, there’s topics of growing up, finding out hard truths and facing your flaws. I found the whole book to have a great message beyond the creepy horror story that takes place at the same time. I believe that is what makes middle grade fiction sometimes better than young adult, there’s a lot more layers because we want young readers to discover more of themselves in a story.
The creepy atmosphere, the layers of character development and a great plot really made this book for me.