I received a copy of Doll Bones as part of the Goodreads 'First-reads' scheme!
What they say: Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.
But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity...
What I say: Aww Doll Bones is such a sweet story - in a massively creepy way of course! I have to say I'm not the biggest fan of dolls, they're right up there on a par with clowns in my book (SHUDDERS)!
The story focuses on Zach, Poppy and Alice; three 12-year-olds who are reaching the point of leaving neverland. Doll Bones is, in a sense a type of fantasy 'coming of age' story. The children play with action figures and toys, planning big adventures with pirates, Queens and mermaids. They're not quite teenagers, but they are starting to have more grown-up interests, whilst holding on to their games.
The doll in Doll Bones is an antique and sinister figure. A sort of ghost/spirit, who needs help moving on. Poppy leads them on a mission to bury the doll (or they face dire consequences), which turns into their very own adventure/quest.
I'm glad Holly didn't go down the Coraline route, but the doll was still really creepy. The story introduces the children's first hints at romance and stresses the importance of imagination. I loved how Holly highlighted Zach's confusion over the suddenly giggling girls. It's really sentimental, but in a good way.
The ending made me smile and I found Doll Bones to be fun and sweet. It's everything a good kids book should be!
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- That was why Zach loved playing: those moments where it seemed like he was accessing some other world, one that felt as real as anything.
- He'd always thought she was creepy-looking, but in the reflected beam of the flashlight, she seemed demonic.
- "I'm just different like weird. We had this adventure together, but now we're going back."