Poltergeeks is a new story from Strange Chemistry and I am honestly so conflicted about what I felt. See, there were a lot of really awesome aspects to Poltergeeks but there were some stuff I liked a bit less. I'll settle by mixing the good and the bad in my review.
First, something I personally loved was that the story was by a Canadian author and took place in Canada! Me being Canadian and all, I loved that the story took place in Calgary (which is further from me than the States, but whatever). Not enough books take place in Canada so I get ridiculously excited when they do. Oh! And bonus points for mentioning Tim Hortons!
A negative would be the story felt a touch immature. I think the story is ideal for younger teens. It's very fast paced and moves along well. I think the entire book took place in two or three days. There's nothing wrong with being fast paced- I personally love it, but it left some scenes feeling underdeveloped and the slightest bit stereotypical. For example, Julie was very clichéd as the outsider with the nerdy friends. She always went on about how stupid the popular kids were and how she would rather be different than one of them. For the record, there was only one popular kid even mentioned by name in the books and he was your typical male bully. I honestly don't see that in my high school so characters like that are unrealistic for me.
Another thing I loved was the language. The story was full of humour. The writing wasn't severe- I absolutely freaking loved that Julie talked the way most teens talk. There was swearing, sarcasm, exaggerations and slang. The best parts were reading something Julie said and being all, "HEY! I said that yesterday!" (True story.) The language isn't very elegant but I consider it very realistic.
Julie herself won't make it to my list of favourite characters. See, she was sometimes a little bit too unreasonable, reckless, one might even say dumb. Like, "Look, some super powerful witch is attacking me and my family?! Grrr, I'm going to confront you all by myself, even when my mom told me not to." She was rebellious and made a lot of mistakes. I did think she matured towards the end. I'm curious to see in future novels how her character has progressed.
I think I've explained the bad things in the novel (slightly clichéd characters) so the rest is all the good. I like that Julie's mom was a huge part of her daughter's life. There was a real relationship between the two and they argued a lot but I liked it.
The ending had some pretty good twists to it. I wasn't really sure about some of the reasoning behind the actions, but I was surprised a bit. (Not too much though- see, I had my suspicions about the villain all along.) The ending also wrapped up the story pretty well but left room for a sequel.
The mythology was also very interesting and new. Ghosts, witches, immortals, oh my! There were a lot of interesting little tidbits (or should I say Timbits? I know, bad joke) of information about the supernatural world and I'm looking forward to reading more about that world in depth. I really liked Marcus and Julie's friendship and I thought they were both really cute together. Slightly awkward, but still sweet.
Overall, Poltergeeks was a good debut. There were some aspects to the story I didn't like but that didn't take too much away from the story. All in all, I enjoyed the fast paced action, the real teen speak, and I liked the the story was very light yet super entertaining. It was a good beginning and I'm really excited to see where the story goes from here. Since I liked it, I'm giving Poltergeeks 3 stars,