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

Publication Date: November 8th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 252 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
For fourteen-year-old Eve Hallows, life can be summed up in one word—horrible. She has the most horrible friends. She lives in a horrible old castle. Even her family is a bunch of horrible monsters.
However, in the monster-inhabited world of Gravesville—a world where messages are sent through Ouija boards, jack-o’-lanterns get facials to suit their moods, and the worst thing Eve has to deal with are those annoying zombie tourists who overrun her favorite graveyard during the Halloween season—horrible means wonderful. And everything for Eve is perfectly horrible.
But her life is about to go head over heels when a mysterious group known as The Source starts terrorizing Gravesville. Now she must move to the human world—where everything is opposite … and for Eve, that’s absolutely adorable!

Eve’s family is on the move; away from Gravesville, away from the comfort and familiarity of the life she’d ever known. Being the only human living among monsters, she predicted life in the human world would turn out ‘adorably’ wrong. When she found out the real reason why her family is in escrow, she reluctantly accepted that they didn’t have a choice. She only hopes that her gorgon of a mother could resist not turning anyone into stone, or her father wouldn’t have to shift too often into another life form. She also worried about her ghoul of a brother Sam, who has to learn to adapt to a cemetery devoid of other monsters he normally plays with. But above all things, her family’s biggest problem is finding the humans responsible for murdering vampire families. Little by little, Eve’s list of suspects starts to grow, clues started to manifest and at the crux of the mystery, the real motive why a group of humans called The Source, is determined to obtain the book shrieks – a powerful book that has the ability to create scary, evil monsters. 
This book was an absolutely delightful read! I’ve never really been much of an MG reader but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Is it wrong to say that I expected the onset of boredom when I first read the synopsis? It’s horrible, I know. I kid you not, once I got going, the pages flew in no time. The perfectly paced sequence of events made this book a fast read (a good indication that my kid will absolutely love this!). 
The author captured the voice of a fourteen year-old human girl mixed up in a family of monsters. There’s a lot of matter-of-fact humor, which are sometimes not even supposed to be funny. The writing is very straight-forward, which I think had something to do with the author’s intent on giving Eve a genuine voice (trust me, he succeeded in spades). I love the family dynamics between the lone human and the monsters; it was cute and endearing. 
VERDICT: Eve Hallows is highly imaginative without being too complex for its target audience.
Fall in love with Eve, her friends and her family of adorable monsters. Lose yourself in a light read that will remind you of those days when your English teacher just want you to read something, anything. This book is it. The one that you wish you read when you were in grade school. I for one, am pushing my daughter to read this and you know what? She didn’t need much convincing once she saw me laughing at some of Eve’s antics. 

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