Book Review: Saving Hascal’s Horrors

This post contains affiliate links. I was given a free copy of the book to read and review.CROSRD-Header

I like to read. I really enjoy it. I will read books on how to do things, sometimes, but my passion in reading truly comes in fantasy and fiction. I had the opportunity to read Saving Hascal’s Horrors
as a member of Crossroads Media Hub. I was concerned at first because the cover of the book looks like a child drew it. It looked very primitive and it immediately set off my concern. But I made a promise that I would read it, and figure it could be a new author just starting out, so I dove right into reading it. It is written by Laura Smith. You can currently purchase the Kindle version for $1.99, Prime members can read it for Free.

Laura is also the author of the book The Stable House. It has the same primitive drawn cover, and I assume it is for two reasons.

1- Both books are about kids in their pre-teen years.

2- She is the illustrator.

Saving Hascal's HorrorsBook Synopsis:

Mike Hascal can’t wait for the day when he grows up and gets to take over his family’s horror shop. He and his friends go to Hascal’s Horrors every day after school where Mike’s sister, Julie, has run the store ever since their father died. However, a tragedy seven years ago forced the shop to close to the public. A boy, Shawn Mackey, went into the woods to try to take a picture of a ghost for a contest the shop was holding, and he never made it out. The Mackey family then forced the Hascal family to take customers by appointment only and never let any kids into the store.
 When business, gets slow and a woman complains about her grandson, Freddy, hanging out at the store, Julie is forced to ban Mike and his friends from the shop. To save his store, Mike and his friends decide to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing boy, hoping that the Mackey family will let them reopen the shop to the public. Using their knowledge of horror movies, Freddy’s help, and Mike’s family’s supernatural powers, they go on an adventure to save the family’s shop and bring Shawn Mackey’s family peace.

The covers represent something about the main character and actually when you are done reading, you picture that cover as something the character drew. It fits. This was a true case of not judging a book by its cover. Though it is a young adult book, I couldn’t put it down. Most of my reading was done when I was traveling for #ENMNCon14. I will be honest, I read this book every chance I could. It held my attention. I read it going to sleep and when I woke up. I finished it the weekend I was gone, because I didn’t have 3 kids needing me.

The book was warm and had great character detail. I felt connected to the characters and found myself rooting for different things going on. They were warm and real. There was a lot of emotion conveyed in the story from several characters. There is a fantasy/scifi factor to it, but in a surprising way. I thought the story was going to go one way for most of the story, but then there was a twist. It was surprising and overwhelming for me. I was pleasantly surprised with the book. I liked how it closed out items and gave you further info about the characters future. I would recommend this book. It is a young adult reader. It is good for Pre-teens and teens. If you liked the Twilight saga, its a little less edgy than that, but a comparable easy read.

I would not let my first grader read it yet, but I would let her later in her elementary school years. It is a simple book with mostly easy words, and a concept that was mostly feasible. I would give it 2 stars and recommend allowing your child to read it.

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