The Dead and the Dark

Wednesday Bks. Aug. 2021. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250762016.
Gr 9 Up–Logan is not really interested in going to her dads’ hometown of Snakebite, Oregon, for the summer, but her dads are the ghost hunting duo the ParaSpectors, and they claim there is a case to solve there. Ashley has always loved Snakebite, but things have felt different ever since her boyfriend, Tristan, went missing six months ago, and they only get worse when the mysterious Logan arrives with two of Snakebite’s former, scorned residents. When Ashley begins to see ghosts, she has to rely on Logan to help her find Tristan, and the person who took him, before anyone else gets hurt. This novel explores the consequences of hate, and the way hate can shape a town. While it is a ghost story, the ghosts are not the villains in the town of Snakebite. Residents are quick to blame the queer family for everything that has gone wrong, and in this way Gould shows us how hate and fear go hand in hand. This is a unique and important take on the horror genre. Logan is a lesbian, one of her dads is bisexual, and Ashley is queer. One of Logan’s dads is Latinx as are two secondary characters. All others are presumed white.
VERDICT Purchase for library collections where ghost stories are in demand, and where LGBTQIA+ stories in a genre other than realistic fiction are desired.

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