Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Goolz Next Door #1: A Bad Night for Bullies by Gary Ghislain

A Bad Night for Bullies (The Goolz Next Door, #1)My name is Harold, and I have some good news and some bad news. A beautiful girl named Ilona has moved in next door, but her father activated a stone that brought a dead woman back to life. I used the stone once, and the creature let me stand up from my wheelchair. Ilona says the stone will slowly kill you when it’s used, so she’s hidden it away from her father and sister, and me. Now, two bullies have disappeared up by the deserted church and cemetery, and we’re sure the dead woman is responsible. Her creepy eyes, rotten teeth, and decaying skin gave me the heebie jeebies, but Mr. Goolz says it’s important for us to find out her identity. Then, maybe we can figure out what she wants and come up with a plan to stop her. You might think I was brave, if I wasn’t so terrified inside!

I randomly chose this book from the new releases shelf at my local library, and I really enjoyed it. It was immediately clear that Ilona's character was going to do unexpected things. Harold’s first encounter found her rescuing him by shoving a bully off the pier, right in front of his gang. She made Harold forget about his special needs and helped him become a full participant in this adventure. I thought her little sister would have a larger role in the plot, but she moved into the background about halfway in. The story was told through Harold’s eyes and shared his inner conflict with being confined to a wheelchair. The Goolz family seemed to accept his situation better than his own mother. She insisted they were living a good life even after Harold voiced his true feelings. Harold felt she was overly protective. The book read as a mystery novel with a supernatural focus. A ghosts existed and was at the center of the conflict. However, past histories had a huge impact on the current events, and the conflict couldn't be resolved until they were settled. I really liked this first book about the Goolz, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. 

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