Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.
For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.
With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.
This was a perfectly spooky MG fantasy read!
I’d preordered this like a year ago, so, imagine how happy I was to finally hold it…only to then immediately decide it was probably put to better use in the spawn’s Easter basket.
On the plus side though, I borrowed the book from her, read it, and loved it and now I can’t wait for her to read it!
Great things about this, well, first off, this is exactly as described; Coco meets Stranger Things!
Considering I absolutely adore both, this made it a win, and then we add in brilliant 80s pop culture references and I was suddenly head over heels in love.
Set in Florida, Ortega makes use of the varied cultures that make up the US and specifically in this area of the country. [Florida is definitely a melting pot!]
Ortega breathes life into this story and does it with a perfect flare and showcase of Dominican-American culture as well. The use of Spanish is not used as something to make the character sound ‘cooler,’ it’s obvious this is part of Lucely’s family and heritage and it’s brilliant. This goes for the fireflies, the ties to family, and all the way down to the food. [Never has an MG read made me so hungry.]
Lucely is a lovely MC, she’s so complex and has so many feelings, from the sadness over the fact her mother left her and her Father, to the love for her family, living and dead, and the bond between her and her family and friends. It’s all great.
Lucely has a beautiful relationship with her father, he’s a single father raising her and trying to run a business to try and keep them in their family home. There’s a problem though, business is not doing as well as they hoped and there’s consequences looming over them for that, unless they can come up with the money.
Wanting to help Lucely, her best friend Syd and her come up with a plan to keep Lucely from moving, and it involves ghosts, a cat named Chunk, Syd’s grandmother and her unique library, and some things that maybe shouldn’t be dabbled in, at least not unsupervised!
It’s just spooky enough for children and though it may seem to be an obvious plot, I think the twists thrown in are nice and I do think that children will enjoy those twists, whether they’re obvious or not to them.
Written in an engaging and perfectly paced manner, I would highly recommend this book to MG Readers, children and adults alike!
I’m now going to watch Goonies and Coco now. 5/5 Cups of coffee from me.
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