Sunday, March 8, 2015

Four Rubbings Review

Four Rubbings

Author: Jennifer Hotes
Average Rating: 4.35/5.0
Personal Rating: 3.5/5.0
Page Count: 372
Finished Reading: March
Published: 26 August 2013

According to Goodreads:

Halloween. The night the barrier between the dead and the living is as thin as muslin. Fourteen-year old Josie, haunted by the death of her mother, leads her best friends to an ancient cemetery to rub graves. Convinced she will come away with proof of her mother’s spirit at last, the evening takes an unexpected turn as the teens gravitate four ways into the haunted grounds. Set against the backdrop of the rainy Pacific Northwest, four graves will be rubbed, touching off a series of events that will rattle their once mundane lives. From the lonely World War II hero to an accused witch, the people buried beneath the stones have stories that need an ending. The journey to unravel the mysteries leaves the friends wondering if the graves would've been better off left alone.

My Opinion:

I received an e-copy from the author, but in no way does that impact my opinion.

I was really excited to begin reading Four Rubbings, because all the paranormal books out there for young adults are about vampires, angels, demons,etc,...but barely any that center around a simple ghost story. So, I had high expectations for this novel. 

I loved the fact that the story began with four friends meeting at a cemetery to rub gravestones on Halloween night. Right off the bat the reader gets the feel that the four friends (Josie, Casey, Seth, and Blaze) have been friends for forever...which they have been. They met when they were babies when their moms attended meetings at the hospital. You are constantly reminded about that fact throughout the entirety of the novel.

They go their separate ways to find graves that call out to them, and then proceed to rub that gravestone. The rest of the novel focuses on the back stories of the people whose graves the kids rubbed. The back stories of the deceased and the connections of fulfilling their last requests were probably the most exciting parts of the novel. The other part of the novel I found highly interesting were the ghost stories that Grace, the cemetery's caretaker, told the kids. There were some stories that sent chills down my spine, and had me glancing over my shoulder.

I found the novel to be repetitive at times. We constantly read about how the kids met when they were babies, or something would be said in one chapter to only be restated with different wording in the next. I also found that the way the kids spoke didn't match up with their age. They are a group of fourteen-year-olds, and at times they were talking like they were in their 20s or 30s. When I was 14 I was definitely not throwing around curse words in the presence of my parents or acting like I was way older than I really was. The kids were written in a way that seemed like they were adults stuck in a teenager's body. 

I enjoyed parts of the book, but Four Rubbings wasn't for me. The ghost stories were fun to read, and the back stories of the deceased were interesting. However, the pace was slow, and boggled down by the extra details of the kids' personal lives as well as their parents' lives. I would have found the novel to be more exciting if there had been more emphasis on the paranormal/graveyard/Halloween/scary aspect of the story. 

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