Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .
This was my first Holly Black book and it won't be my last. As soon as I heard about this one I was really excited about it. I love Middle Grade and throw in a creepy doll and ghost story and you have me hooked. Unfortunately, I didn't love it as much as I hoped to but it was a good read anyway.
The thing that really bugged me the most about this book was the fact that the beginning was kind of slow. For a while it seemed like nothing was happening but once the children begin their adventure the pace picks up drastically.
I liked Zach and Alice. They were my two favorites. They both seemed pretty level-headed for middle schoolers and they looked out for each other. Poppy however tended to get on my nerves. She was constantly on Zach's case about him not wanting to play their game anymore and she did some things that would have had me hating her if she was my friend.
As far as the whole creepy aspect goes, it was okay for a Middle Grade novel. Nothing too scary but there were times when I got freaked out by the doll. If you were considering this book I definitely think you should go for it. It was a quick read and it had a great adventure and just the right amount of creepiness for the age the book was targeted towards.