February 16, 2020

#BookReview: Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield

Synopsis: Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. 

That night she experiences something she can’t explain. The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.

As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.

Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?


Rating: ★★★
My Review: This was a hate and love relationship with this story. On one hand I loved how the main characters was unreliable about what what really happening and I really loved the horror sections of the story.  But the story itself just felt like it was holding back.  I wanted to love it but I didn't click with it fully.  The ending of this one was way open ended as well which I just don't enjoy.  Overall, if this is the thing for you then I would totally check it out. 

'Wakefield’s bone-chilling supernatural thriller, originally published in Australia, blurs the line between perception and reality, often folding in shrewd discussions of mental illness along the way. With whirlwind pacing, dynamic characterizations, and out-of-this-world spook appeal, Wakefield’s writing is a possessive force of its own. Readers, ready your nightlights.’―Booklist
'The touch of magical realism―or is it psychic ability that Grace inherited from her mother?―is key to making the plot work even if everything is explained away by her therapist, as Grace does in fact solve one mystery and prevent another tragedy. Give this to readers who enjoy a bit of supernatural ambiguity in their crime dramas.' Recommended. Gr. 9-12.―BCCB
; 'Evocative descriptions will make readers feel Grace's fear, frustration, and confusion, with sights, sounds, and scents that are as palpable as words on a page can be. Mesmerizing, haunting, and hopeful. (Fiction. 14-18)’―Kirkus; *Starred Review* 
'Wakefield reveals herself to be a master of madness and suspense, rivaling such authors as Adele Griffin and Neal Shusterman. With the effect of both a seductive dream and a nightmare, the story throbs with uneasiness; curses, terrible secrets, and twisted relationships all threaten to explode at any moment. Wakefield’s writing is gorgeous. She renders the Australian setting, from the slanted platforms at the train station to the red dust of the outback, with visceral detail, and her characters are disturbing, yet sketched with deep compassion for their lonely, wounded hearts.' Booklist on Friday Never Leaving
‘Wakefield’s writing is unflinchingly honest...readers who let themselves sink into Wakefield’s descriptions of small-town life, its constraints, and frustrations will enjoy following Jack as she searches for meaning, finding love and purpose in the unlikeliest people.’ Publisher’s Weeklyon Friday Never Leaving
'For readers who enjoy stories with an emotional punch.School Library Journal on Friday Never Leaving
‘Wakefield...proves again that she's the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.’ Australian Book Review

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