Title: Now Entering Addamsville
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: October 1st, 2019
Zora Novak has been framed.
When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.
Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.
“When your mom disappears, your dad goes to jail, and the whole town hates you on sight, sometimes you get it in your head to start doing stupid things to ease that anger. Stupid things like hunting firestarters alone.”
Now Entering Addamsville was one of my most anticipate releases of this year, and I was so excited to pick it up as soon as possible. I’ve adored the other two books I’ve read by Francesca Zappia, and though I enjoyed this one and think it was a very interesting take on the ghost hunting theme, I don’t know if it was the time when I read it or why, but I didn’t love it as much as her other novels, which was kind of a bummer.
It took me a while to get into the story, which was surprising to me. I’m pretty sure the main reason why that happened was because I was in the middle of a reading slump at the time, and felt a bit disconnected with the story at times because of that. But as I kept reading I started to enjoy the story more and found it more of a quick read than what I imagined it to be at the very beginning.
I think that the plot was very fun and entertaining. Despite being a YA book it did feel a bit juvenile for me, and I’m unsure if it was the author’s intention or not, but some things were definitely a bit convenient and were solved quite quickly.
I was also expecting Now Entering Addamsville to be much spookier than it was. Though it had that eerie atmosphere that I adore in a paranormal/mystery book, there was something about the tone that missed the point for me. I would have loved it to be scarier, and most of the time this appeared as a contemporary with a some (but little) spookier elements in it. I think it had some interesting elements, but she didn’t take time to develop them, so I had pretty much the same information about them in the beginning and at the very end.
“Mom always said it was her job to protect the town and its ghosts by solving mysteries no one else could see.”
There were a lot of things that felt a bit repetitive and the pacing was a bit slow for my liking, and sometimes there was nothing happening and it seemed as though I was reading the exact same thing that happened a few scenes ago.
When it comes to the characters, I have to say I have mixed feelings about them. I appreciated a lot for the book to have some LGBT+ characters that took an important take on the story, but I feel they weren’t as developed as I would have loved to see. There were certain things that happened so suddenly and didn’t have any transition so the reader could understand the reasons behind those changes in the characters, and the arcs (especially our protagonist’s) were very plain and flat and didn’t hit the mark for me.
I loved the interactions between the characters and really appreciated the female friendships formed throughout the story and how precious they were, and also how this book didn’t have any romance, which seems like a hard things to find these days, and this one had it, but I guess I was expecting much more from them.
Something that kind of bugged me but it was totally a me thing was everything that happened in the very last chapter. Everything was solved but there was something that I’m pretty sure was supposed to be a shocking revelation for the reader, but for me it was quite confusing and didn’t really understand it, so that was a bit anticlimactic.
Overall, Now Entering Addamsville was a very well written book and a solid novel for me. I had my issues with the plot and characters, but that was me being critical and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not being in a reading slump. Still, it left some questions unanswered that I would have loved to know about, but for the most part, it was quite a fun and entertaining story.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
“I wonder sometimes if he had felt it coming and knew, one day, he wouldn’t be strong enough to stop it. I wonder if he feared it.”
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