Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.
It’s the summer of 1982 and 12-yr-old Ret McCoy is happy. After moving around a lot his family has been in Riverton, Utah for three years. He and his friends, Gary and Jax, are nearly inseparable. They were spending their summer vacation riding bikes and just hanging out when they accept a dare by an older kid to spend the night in the Crooked House, a long abandoned house that everyone believed was haunted. Everything changed after that night. When people start disappearing, Ret seems to be the only one seeing the extreme weirdness going on, but he can’t make the adults believe him. That’s when he takes matters into his own hands. In the words of the Lost in Space robot: Danger, Will Robinson, danger!
Ret is 12 so this is kinda on the cusp of Middle Grade and Young Adult. It’s a little hard to believe that the adults can’t see what’s going on, because really, it’s very weird, but it’s always easier to consider any type of explanation over a supernatural one. The adults do a lot of rationalizing, but that’s expected. The kids do a lot of sneaky things that give me nightmares. LOL The supernatural part is pretty cool though for some reason it just doesn’t gel perfectly for me. I guess because there’s no real explanation about how it all gets started and the reason why. Okay, so there is mention of a Big Bad, but I have no idea how it all fits in. The supernatural stuff mostly starts off page and we’re dropped into it, so I guess I just want to know exactly how the new owner of the Crooked House fits into it all. All-in-all though this is a great spooky, and at times kinda scary, paranormal YA mystery.