Book Review: Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks by Robert Gray

This book follows the life of Eve Hallows, a fourteen-year-old whose family is having a bit of a crisis. Her family is comprised of monsters—her mother is a gorgon, for example, and her father is a shape-shifter. Eve was the unlucky one born as a (gasp!) human. In Gravesville, Eve enjoys all the comforts of Halloween—all year round. Candy and sweets for meals, hot pumpkin as her favorite drink, and creepy-crawlies everywhere. Like all the residents of Gravesville, Eve has been taught that humans are adorable—that is, horrible, in monster-speak. But her horrible (that is, awesome, in monster-speak) life is about to get adorable. A person or group known as The Source is after Eve and her family, and the only way to escape them is to seek temporary sanctuary in the world of the humans.

Eve enters the world of humans with her preconceived notions, believing she’ll hate all humans. And things start out rocky. She is sunburned on her first day there (the sun doesn’t shine in Gravesville), she is mocked for the way she dresses, and she gets on the principal’s bad side almost immediately. As she continues simultaneously trying to fit in and discover more about The Source, Eve slowly develops friendships with humans, realizing they aren’t as bad as they were talked up to be.

I can’t say much more without ruining the plot—it’s a mystery that unravels as the novel progresses. I enjoyed the book’s humor and creepy overtones. A particularly enjoyable scene was one in which Eve’s shape-shifting father, who is spending his time-in-hiding as the operator of a pizza restaurant, tries to make pizza and serve customers. Eve’s language and perception of humans is humorous as well. The book picks up greatly in the last half—I read it in just two sittings.

I recommend the book for middle-grade and young teen readers looking for a mixture of friendship, Halloween fun, creativity, humor, and even a bit of romance. The bad guys are ones you love to hate, and the good guys are all unique. I look forward to reading the sequel.

 

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