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Location: /Teen Paranormal & Romance
Nearly Departed  

Book Title: Nearly Departed
Welcome to Weirdsville # 1

Author: Rook Hastings

Format: B-format Paperback, pages
ISBN: 9780007258109
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 01, 2010
 

Product Information
"I've seen a ghost," said Emily. "Well, not seen one exactly. Heard one. At least, I think I have…"

Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it's a place where strange things happen. Even if they won't admit it.

Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn't ready to share. Hashim sees more than he'll say, while Kelly's demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily's freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural.

Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville…
 Ages 11+


 

             

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Customer Reviews



Kaylee 2010-12-03

Wow! Well wasn't this book an interesting one?... A bit chilling at times, but still interesting; I really liked it. This book had me from get go; if you think the start is interesting then wait for the middle of the book.

I liked this book because, Ok I admit, it scared me a little, but who cares? It was a good read! Especially the way it was set out and the way everything was worked into one big book; it was very detailed and I could picture everything with my mind , it was definitely worth it.
There was one character that really intrigued me though, and that was Emily; she was so different; there was obviously something off about her; not in a bad way or anything though, she just had a mysterious aura to her. You knew she was a big part of the story and you knew something huge was bound to happen, and that she would be in the centre of it.

I loved all the characters and the way their personalities were so different,  yet they could all come so close and get along and do what it is they are meant to do. But I do hate how it turned out in the end with Hashim, he was an amazing character up until the last chapter, a bummer really.
Nearly departed is definitely a boredom killer. It was written well except at some points I didn't know whose point of view it was coming from, it tended to switch between characters without any warning, which made it hard to follow sometimes, and I had to find out which character was talking and then go back and re-read! I hate re-reading!

But wow! What an ending. Something no-one would expect (Or maybe I'm just too blonde) It's quite funny and ironic. I mean, it has a good ending. It left me satisfied but WOAH!! Not what anyone would expect. The ending was unique and I liked it that way. It’s a real jaw dropper, and as I said… I am GONNA! get the next book.



Ali 2010-04-14

Just wow. An amazing, original, terrifying story, with believable characters and great plot; what can I say, I loved it.

I admit, when I first saw Nearly Departed I thought it would be a good read, enjoyable, put I wasn’t really expecting anything brilliant. Even with the first few pages, my initial impression didn’t really have high-expectations, if this was an adult book I would fully expect the first character we meet, bad-arse gang leader “Kevin Carter” to be brutally slaughtered within the first two pages. I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t, but what happens instead scares the bejezzus out of the big tough gang member and sets the scene nicely... something strange is happening in Woodsville. So by about page 6 we’ve gone from another teen story to “Oh My God” and it just doesn’t stop.

Set in a place called Woodsville, it doesn’t specifically say England, but the whole story has a very English feel about it. There is a stronger sense of realism than you find in most American styled young adult books. The classroom dynamics feel right; the kids are a bunch of little shits and you can hear the tone the teacher, Mr Bacon, uses when yelling at the boys to get to class.

Our heroes are a dynamic but unexpected group: Bethan, bit of a goth and top of the class; Jay, sci-fi geek; Hashim, football obsessed playboy; Kelly, gorgeous and popular, but with a heck of a home-life and Emily, unpopular, quiet and withdrawn. Each is written about in such a way that you don’t need to have much imagination to really be able to empathise, you know what it’s like to be popular, you know what it’s like to have football as your life, you know what it’s like to be the weirdo.There is a very strong emotional attachment to the characters, but it’s more than that, there is a deep understanding of the personality types, and just enough information is given to form the basis of that understanding whilst allowing your own imagination to fill in the gaps, creating a more ‘real’ experience.

“He’d got the school’s coolest girl and boy – who never hung out and didn’t even like each other – to agree to spend a night in the house of the world’s most uncool girl, along with the ginger geek and the class brain.”

There is also that delightful ‘cheek’. The teenage attitude, the smirk, the ‘oh muuuummmmm’ whinge, we’ve got it all. You can picture it, you can hear it, and most importantly, you can always believe it.

“Got it.” Hashim nodded. “I told my mum I was taking an interest in science in case I wanted to go into medical research instead of playing football. She made my dad get us everything we need and my brother’s chauffeur for the night.  He is not happy about it – it’s brilliant!”

I think that’s one of the things that make this so scary. It is such a believable book, with characters that are so real, when you start to throw a few ghosts in it just doesn’t take that much of a leap to believe in those too.

“Which lead him to conclude that his mad, demented pirate, smelly old grandad was something of a genius, and the only person Jay had ever met who had the same lust for knowledge that he had. Not that it stopped Albert from being a miserable old sod though”

This is not a book that you can easily put down, ‘one more page’ quickly turns into ‘just until the end of this chapter’, and then you get the chapter ending; Ms Hastings is a criminal mastermind who has turned her book into an addiction. It’s a subtle and insidious addiction, it’s late, you’re tired, you’re just going to finish this chapter then go to bed, the story has taken a rest from the heart in the mouth action, and then the chapter ends with something like:

“Each step was taking them deeper into a journey from which there was no return, and in the morning they would find out exactly what that meant.”

It is criminal I tell you!

I’m a reader. Actually, I read quite obsessively. So I like to think I’ve got a pretty good imagination. What I didn’t expect was to be taken on a sensory journey where I could feel the mist and hear the otherworldly screams. This has probably just made the top of my favourite young adult list. It’s good. It’s very good.

“You know, whatever it is that exists in the shadows in Weirdsville,” Jay whispered. “It’s read. It’s out there. And it’s coming.”

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