Monday, January 25, 2021

Book Review | Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

Scritch Scratch is a middle grade horror novel by Lindsay Currie.

Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

A ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.

Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.

Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something...and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.

I was excited about reading Scritch Scratch because it was marketed really well as a middle grade horror (versus leaning more toward fantasy or mystery). It embraced the creepy ghost story side whole-heartedly so I was thrilled to give it a read.

Unfortunately Scritch Scratch did not turn out to be a favorite middle grade book for me.

In Scritch Scratch, we are following a young girl name Claire whose father owns a ghost tour business. Early on in the book Claire has to help her father run his ghost tour one night, and not only does Claire meet a ghost - it follows her home.

I loved all of the scary things that began happening around Claire. Hauntings are my favorite subgenre, and I think it's the perfect way to pull young readers into loving horror. I did not, however, love Claire. Her attitude toward her parents and her friends just wasn't endearing. I found myself wishing this story had been told through her friend's eyes instead (think My Best Friend's Exorcism). I also didn't feel like any of the relationships or the dialog were very realistic.
That's the arguably objective side of my review. As for the subjective side, I had no idea this story was based on real events. I do not do well with real life child trauma and/or death. I would much prefer my horrors to all be fiction, and this book turned out to be one I personally wish I had skipped reading on that fact alone. 

/5 stars


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  1. Sorry this didn't work for you. I wonder if it would have worked better as an adult story? Simply because of the triggers you mention.

    1. I loved this book. It was a mix of both frightening, and and had mysterious plot twists. I enjoy how everything clicks together perfectly. I also like how while the book is about Clair’s ghost-boy problems, it also talks about her school life, and how she if such a brave and understanding girl. :)

    2. Yes, yes, I visibly agree. I also loved this book. It was very fantastically, incredibly scary #396

  2. I am sorry this one wasn't better. It has such a promising premise!

  3. Sorry to hear you didn't like it more. It's hard to like a book when one of the characters isn't as likable as you would have liked.

  4. I really want to read this but may push it back now. Have you read The Whispering Pines? It's a super creepy MG.

  5. Good to know about this one! I love me some middle grade horror but when the children (especially the main character) are hard to deal with it makes it difficult.

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