YA Review: The Haunting of Tyrese Walker

Title: The Haunting of Tyrese Walker
Author: JP Rose
Paperback (Paper Orange Book Box)

YA Review: The Haunting of Tyrese Walker

Another excellent book from the Paper Orange UKYA Book Box! I’m not usually a horror fan, but this book drew me in – great characters, great setting, and just the right level of creepy.

Fourteen-year-old Tyrese has just lost his father, and his death is still too painful to think about. His mother takes him to Jamaica for the summer to stay with his paternal grandmother and his fourteen-year-old cousin, Marvin. Sleep deprived, grieving, hot, and homesick, Tyrese struggles to adapt. When his grandmother asks him to scatter rice around her house to keep away evil spirits, he can’t see the point. But when inexplicable things start to happen around him, he begins to doubt everything he believes in. Are the spirits real, or is he losing his mind?

With Ellie, a visiting American teenager, Tyrese and Marvin explore the mountains and forests around their grandmother’s house. What begins as an idyllic summer holiday quickly takes a dark turn, as Tyrese’s unsettling experiences start to affect the people around him. There is a growing sense of danger as the story progresses, and Tyrese is never sure whether the things he is seeing are real. Ellie and Marvin confirm some of his experiences, but the reader is left wondering whether his fear is justified, or whether he really is losing his grip on sanity.

The reveal and the finale are excellent, and the mounting dread pays off in the final scenes. My complaint with a lot of horror is that the fear is either an overreaction, or that the Big Bad is too big and too bad for the story. This ending is just right.

This is a book about fear of the unexplained, and the folly of meddling with forces beyond the characters’ understanding. It is also a story about friendship, family, and coming to terms with overwhelming grief. It’s a clever use of the setting and the plot, and the result is a gripping page-turner of a novel. An excellent read.

Have you read The Haunting of Tyrese Walker? What did you think of Tyrese’s story? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

YA review: The Haunting of Tyrese Walker cross-posted to GoodReads.

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