Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Friday, October 19, 2012

Turn of the Screw Retelling for Teens a Creepy Halloween Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Jack Branch is offered an obscene amount of money to babysit two kids for a couple of months, the soon-to-be high school senior is elated.  Summer jobs aren't exactly plentiful in his city, especially not the kind that pay more than minimum wage.  So the situation is a little ... strange; the money makes it worth it.  If Jack can build up a nice, big nest egg, he'll be able to move out and join his girlfriend at college the minute he graduates high school.

The situation really is bizarre: Jack will be watching two orphans—siblings Flora (age 8) and Miles (age 10)—who live on a remote island with only their housekeeper.  Without t.v. or Internet access on the island, the kids need some entertainment.  Jack's it.  Their uncle hires him to organize sports and games for the kids so they can get some physical exercise while awaiting the arrival of Flora's full-time tutor and Miles' return to boarding school.  While it all seems straightforward enough, Jack's shocked at the kids' uncle's insistence that he not be contacted concerning the children no matter what.  It's only when Jack starts to experience the strangeness of Crackstone's Landing and its only occupants that he begins to understand why ...

The Turning, a new YA novel by Francine Prose, is a short, spine-tingler about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day).  It's an eerie adaptation of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, kind of a ghost story and psychological thriller, all rolled up into one.  Told through the letters Jack writes to his girlfriend, Sophie, the story traces his quest to understand what's happening on Crackstone's Landing as well as his growing confusion about his own sanity.  While I didn't love the book, it's definitely a creepy little read that'll be perfect for teens on the hunt for Halloween reads that are scary without being totally terrifying.

(Readalikes:  I should be able to think of lots of similar stories, but I'm coming up blank.  It does remind me a bit of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and of the movie The Shining, which is based on a Stephen King novel I haven't read yet.  Any other ideas?)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs) and scary scenes

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Turning as well as a finished copy (which I donated to my local library) from the generous folks at HarperTeen.  Thank you!  


  1. This sounds great! I loved The Turn of the Screw and a YA retelling? So fun!

  2. Scary without being terrifying sounds perfect! Hadn't heard of this one before. Thanks for the heads-up.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive