Friday, November 25, 2022

Review | Unmasked by Lorien Lawrence

Source: preordered purchase. This is a review of my reading experience.

Unmasked is the third book in Lorien Lawrence's Fright Watch series.

The third book in the spine-chilling Fright Watch series follows the local monster mask maker—and a mask that comes to life on Halloween nightHaving suffered from anxiety attacks since she was eight years old, creating monsters has become a sort of therapy for Marion Jones: When she sculpts and paints, her fingers don’t tingle, the heaviness lifts from her chest, and she can actually breathe. So instead of grabbing pizza and milkshakes after school like most other kids in South Haven, Marion holes up in her room, working away on her monsters. And it’s paid off, because she’s just finished her first full-face mask: a gruesome sea monster she’s named Winston.

However, Halloween arrives with a Super Blue Blood Moon, and its powers somehow manage to bring Winston to life. To make matters worse, Marion’s crush, Tyler Dash, becomes the object of Winston’s possession as soon as he tries on the mask, turning him into a red-flannel and Converse high-top wearing Creature from Connecticut. Marion has no choice: She has to follow Tyler to the Halloween dance to try and stop him. Will she be able to figure out what’s happened to Tyler and stop the monster from wreaking further havoc on the school? Or has she made a real-life monster that’s here to stay?
Aw, I love this series.

Unmasked is the third book in Lorien Lawrence's Fright Watch series. Unmasked was different than the first two books (The Stitchers and The Collectors), but I loved it just as much! The first two books follow Quinn and Mike as they do sort of a supernatural neighborhood watch. Unmasked follows a new character named Marion, but Quinn and Mike are both in this story as well.

I loved Marion. Marion is a makeup artist. She's shy and she's anxious, but she loves special effects makeup. In Unmasked, she makes her first full-size mask of a finfolk creature she names Winston. Even though she is shy and she doesn't have a lot of friends, she has a side job of doing makeup for the kids at school for special events. Unmasked is set at Halloween, and Marion is doing a lot of makeup for the school dance. As Marion's mom says, "there is magic in makeup". When you combine Winston and the super blue blood moon and a school dance by the ocean, things get wild like they do in the Fright Watch town of South Haven.

This series is so much fun, and I'm so glad Marion has been added to the Fright Watch team. I think this series can last a long time, and I'm here for it.

As a middle grade horror reader, I really loved the fact that in Unmasked there were no dead parents, the siblings got along, the parents were present and loving, and it was a nice story about growing up and making friends. (This is not common in the middle grade books I've read.) I, obviously, loved the horror, too.

If you enjoy reading middle grade, I recommend the Fright Watch series. You don't have to read the first two before reading Unmasked, but I would still recommend starting at the beginning and reading all three.

4/5 stars


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