Once upon a time I picked up this semi-spooky looking book called Frightville V01 Don’t Let the Doll In by Mike Ford. Several years later I picked it up off my foot as it was among the books that had just fallen on said foot. Thankfully, the books were lightweight and thin.
After reading, I concluded this book is more of a 2.5 (possible 3 if I factor in nostalgia factors) than an actual 2. The reason for the lower score, is that this is not the best book in the young-reader thriller genre that I have read, but it also is not the worse. I would have probably been on the higher side of ages 8-10 for reading it but know I would have enjoyed the mystery of who was causing trouble in Mara’s home. The battle between girl and doll (no spoiler as you knew that was coming from the puppet/doll on the cover) at the end was classic. I have read that story before. Mara, our young heroine, battles out with the doll in her own doll sized form, trying to stop a clock that controls the magic and finally the grandfather clock smashes down!
However, as an adult reading, the flaws come out. I mean, why didn’t Mara just write the poem down that she was supposed to read to keep Charlotte the doll from coming to life? She has an all too happy, if not slightly clueless, family. Not to mention the best friend who is has a personality flatter than a road-side squirrel. And do not get me started on the writing style. This is Writing 101 that does the basics to get you through to the end.
And yet, here I am saying, “You know what? Your reluctant reader might enjoy this, or even a young strong reader.”
This is a spooky story but not over the top spooky. It could be considered a Goosebumps for the younger crowd. If you have a sensitive reader, it might not be the best, but overall, a decent “beach read” for a mystery/thriller/supernatural reader.