#sponsored by Jimmy Patterson Books
The Jimmy Patterson series for young adults has brought out several great books and writers. Reviews of several books in this series have been reviewed on this page, and have been positive so far. Shawn Sarles is another writer in the Patterson books with his book “Campfire” (Jimmy Patterson 2018), which is a mix of horror and mystery.
The cover of the book is attention getting with a face and an image of a campfire in the eyes of a girl, with the subtitle “Be Careful What Stories You Tell Around The Fire.” Since covers sell books, this should grab readers off the bat.
The story follows the main character, Maddie Davenport, along with her family and friends who go on a camping trip scheduled for a week. The families and friends have been close for many years, being introduced years earlier by Maddie’s mother, who has since passed away in a fire accident. The group includes Maddie’s father and brother, her best friend Chelsea (who has also lost her mother), Kris (who has taken over Maddie’s mother’s real estate business) and her husband and children. Maddie’s Aunt and Uncle, with their son, along with their guide in the wilderness, Caleb, who Maddie starts to feel attracted to, is also in the party.
The families decide to tell scary stories around the campfire one night, which ends up having parts of the tales come true. The two major stories that are told at the fire are good tales and descriptive, especially for a horror fan like me. Several events unfold (NO SPOILERS HERE), which ends up having similarities to the stories, that shows a horror and mystery of who is doing certain things to several family members.
“Campfire” has a few flaws to the book. First, the ending was predictable with the person behind the mystery, maybe because I have seen many horror and mystery films (along with read many books in the genre), and since this was a Young Adult book, this reviewer figured out what was going on. Another part that helped figure out what was going on was a few of the writing segments seemed rushed, which had this reader asking “Why didn’t (this person) do this?” By the end of the book , it made sense once the big reveal happened. Second, the language is geared for the ages 16 and up. This is not for, say a 13 year old, due to some material in the book. It is not vulgar by any means, but some language and innuendos may not be for everyone. Even with these two flaws, the book keeps the reader engaged, which is what a good horror/mystery should do. Also, once again, the stories told at the fire are great enough that the reader would want to pass on when they are sitting at the fire, or just want to tell a neat story. Although I thought the Maddie character was not as strong a person as she tended to be made out to be, it was kind of hard for me as a reader to give her sympathy. The book has a unique theme to it, and the writing is as good as the other Jimmy Patterson writers. Fans of R.L. Stine would like this book.
“Campfire” by Shawn Sarles (Jimmy Patterson Books, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-316-51506-1 ebook: 978-0-316-51507-8) is available in July 2018.
This review copy was given courtesy of Jimmy Patterson Books/ Little, Brown & Company, and Hatchette Books Group, Inc. For information about this book, and other titles, go to: http://www.jimmypatterson.org.
For information on the author, visit his Twitter site at: @shawn_sarles