Here’s the theme of today’s review: FUN! FUN and MORE FUN. Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia isn’t meant to be a fright fest (or at least I can’t imagine it is). What it is though, is a fun, quirky, heartfelt look at a misunderstood loner in a much misunderstood small town.
This isn’t your spooky, scary, eerie Halloween read. This is your on the younger side of the YA spectrum, quick and fun read. And for 95% of the time it really, really works. With a lot of small town charm and fun characters and enough action to keep you hooked. Now Entering Addamsville is a really great book to break between epic fantasy reads, spooky reads and horror gore that abounds!
Thank you to Greenwillow and Edelweiss for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Zora and her older sister Sadie aren’t from the most respected family in Addamsville, Indiana. Their mom, a witch, disappeared five years ago. And their dad, a swindler has been in jail and is due to come home in a few days. Sadie is a hair stylist in a nearby town town and basically Zora’s parent.
Zora? Zora, unfortunately, is dealing with a whole she-bang of issues. First, there is the incident a few years ago. Accused of starting a fire (she didn’t), she lost a couple of fingers on her hand (props for representation) and has had an understandable fire phobia since. In fact, she was there to try and help stop it. Zora has the ability to see ghosts, chase firestarters and save lives. And Addamsville is chock-full of them.
While she was cleared of any wrong-doing all those years ago, there are many that still look at her sideways. Even her own Aunt Greta and her cousin, Artemis. Both of much higher standing and having cut off Sadie and Zora, years ago.
When another fire kills the high-school janitor that the girls’ father had last swindled before being sent to prison, and Zora had been known to have a row with at school? All the rumors point to her but Zora has bigger issues, fearing another firestarter is on-the-loose in Addamsville and only she can stop it.
To make things worse for Zora is the arrival of the oh so aggrivating, but so well written crew of reality show, Dead Man Walking. They are written straight up perfectly. From the host, Tad, hitting on Zora to her prompt and public humiliating rejection that had all the pomp and ridicule his ass deserved.
“I’m Tad Thompson, part of the crew from Dead Man Walking.” When I didn’t respond, he motioned toward the van with the logo. “The TV Show.”
“I know who you are,” I said.
“Yeah, but it’s bumming me out that I don’t know you.”
There are a few things in this life for which I have real patience, and being hit on is not one of them. “Wrong tree, dog. Bark elsewhere”.
Unfortunately for Tad, he doesn’t. He pushes it. And it gets real ugly for Tad, with a quickness.
Then there is Princess Artemis. OH MY! How she couldn’t wait for them to arrive and then how quickly that balloon got busted. I mean I don’t mean to poo poo on her parade but. POO POO. She tried so hard to get their attention and make sure Addamsville’s history was done right during the interview.
Artemis didn’t look at the camera even once, bless her heart.
Ok, I know i grew up in Brooklyn. But I’ve been in the midwest long enough to know what “bless your heart,” means. And I…
And her meltdown, post interview, then her complete meltdown, when she realizes just what the crew is up to and how they really are behind the scenes? Let the shenanigans roll.
Also big plus for the lack of romance outside of the interesting connection but not happening interest between Zora and one Bach… a firestarter done possessed a body that Zora will have to kill at some point… and they both know it.
There are some underneath themes about how sometimes are mysteries are mysteries for a reason. And that when you go looking for the truth? It should be because that is what you want: the truth, not happiness. Because the truth doesn’t always make you happy and it doesn’t always set you free, but it does give you the truth.
Also there are themes around loss, the bonds around family and a small town’s neighbors and friends, the needs for relationships and to show people who you really are beyond perception. And to do what’s right, even when everyone might think the worse of you.
Because it was on the younger side of YA, there wasn’t the in-depth world building, character building that you might be used to. Also because it isn’t the real big fright fest, don’t expect the huge gory scenes of fire-burning deaths, or paranormal occurrences because that just isn’t what Now Entering Addamsville is about.
I think *my* only real issue with it was a couple of the reveals, I would have liked a little sooner, so that they had more time to breathe. Or in other words, if they had come sooner they could have been paced out better and had more details given. I just felt they were rushed a bit and all dropped at once. The book wasn’t too long, so either they could have had another 40 -50 pages added for that part, or just integrate them sooner.
Otherwise, this is a fantastic, light-hearted paranormal read for this time or anytime of the year!