by Kitty Keswick
pub: Jan 2010/Leap Books
High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived.
Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lead in a play, a haunted theater…and into the arms of the Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?
If you like a sharp, snappy female protagonist embroiled in danger, mystery and action, Freaksville is for you.
The strongest thing about the story is Kasey's sassy voice. And talk about energy. This girl has got plenty and it leaps from the pages with a manic pace.
Freaksville is written in blog format from Kasey's point of view, chronicling her crazy adventures.
She knows she's got the gift of sight and when she has a vision of British exchange student hottie, Josh, she follows him. Kasey is smitten and romance quickly ensues. But nothing is easy.
Kasey and Josh get the leads for Romeo and Juliet and their time in the theater becomes dangerous. Kasey starts seeing ghosts and some of them get cranky when she sticks her nose in their business, attempting to solve the mystery of an old disappearance.
Then there's the mystery of her father's job, and some deep family secrets she didn't know about that just happen to connect with Josh, his family, and their deep dark secrets that threaten to turn dangerous for both her and Josh.
The romance is innocent. Mostly sexual tension, lots of 'OMG isn't he dreamy' as well as Kasey going ga-ga over Josh's accent and use of British colloquialisms. She frequently gushed about how everything he said was so cute and adorable. It began to grate on my nerves but I got past it and think younger teen girls would eat it up.
Keswick admits to a love of all things British and it shows. She even puts in a dictionary of the British terms. Another unique aspect of Freaksville were the drawings that are spattered throughout the book to help you visualize characters and particular scenes. And Kasey has this quirk of writing lists, I'm sure trying to calm and organize the wacky whirlwind she lives in.
Kasey is a screech. Her sarcastic wit had me laughing often, and she is full of spunk and determination. She and her best friend Gillie have a wonderful relationship, open, honest and loyal. Having boys enter the picture didn't interfere with their love for each other.
Annoying/stupid/disloyal/guy crazy BFF's in YA are a pet peeve of mine and I was glad to see that wasn't the case here.
I also applauded the fact that Kasey had a strong relationship with her parents (who were still happily married) and they were involved, caring, interested and supportive. Sometimes they made Kasey crazy (and vice versa), but the relationship was real and healthy. I found that refreshing!
While the real action doesn't get going for a bit, Kasey's high energy and snappy dialogue makes up for it. There's a lot thrown in at the end, including some surprises that come out of the blue, but it all wraps up nicely. And Kasey's adventures will continue with the sequel Furry and Freaked.
It's a good, light-hearted read with funky characters, a hefty dose of paranormal and layers of mystery weaving throughout. I'd recommend it, especially for younger teens and anyone who loves all things British.
The Cover:I like it. Very haunting and foreboding. Great shot of the moon, cool font and love the red color. The only thing I'd say is that the cover has a dark feel and the content is light-hearted and fun.
So I needed a filter between my brain and my body, one with big flashing lights and blaring sirens that ruptured my eardrums if I was about to do anything stupid.
See what I mean? Strong voice and great sense of character. It's fun!
I received Freaksville from Angela at Dark Faerie Tales as part of her ARC tour program. Links to other reviews on this tour are HERE if you'd like to check them out.
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