Sunday, September 16, 2012
THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by Claire Legrand
Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.)
But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t come out at all.
If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.
Oh. My gosh. Y'all.
I make no secret of the fact that I love creepy things. So when I saw the CAVENDISH pitch making the rounds in various contests last year, I pretty much wanted to launch myself through the computer screen and read it right that second. And when I looked at PM one day and saw the deal announcement, I may have done a little happy dance.
I finally picked up CAVENDISH yesterday afternoon, and I am thrilled to say that it lived up to my expectations completely. The voice grabbed me from the first page, and the gradual build of dread was perfectly executed. I fell in love with Victoria and Lawrence, and couldn't wait to see what would happen to them next.
Also, as much as I love horror, I have pretty much seen it all at this point, so CAVENDISH was an extremely pleasant surprise. The horror aspects were thoroughly original and just so much fun. The visuals were just skin-crawlingly eerie and had me cackling with glee. And the titular Home... well, I won't spoil anything, so I will just say this: WELL PLAYED, MS. LEGRAND.
The Amazon page for CAVENDISH recommends it to fans of Neil Gaiman's CORALINE, and as a huge fan of CORALINE, I can confidently say that CAVENDISH will be joining it on the list of my favorite middle-grade horror novels. If you're looking for a fast-paced, atmospheric read for October, you might want to snatch this one up.