Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Released: October 2nd 2012
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.
In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life. (from Goodreads)
Poltergeeks was a lot of fun, and definitely an enjoyable read. It was a bit cheesy and cliché at times but it was pretty funny overall, and I'll probably pick up the next book at some point.
Julie, our main character, was a witch in training, and she was eager to learn more magic and stop her mother from being so overprotective. When a poltergeist attacked her neighbour and best friend Marcus, she was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. For a witch with magic powers, Julie seemed to be like a regular teenager, and alongside all the supernatural stuff, she had your every day teen concerns too, like whether or not Marcus was in love with her and how would she feel if he were and whether her friend Marla might actually like Marcus too. She was a bit reckless at times, and sort of charged into situations without really thinking, but I liked the way she was desperate to save her mother and was willing to do anything to get her back. It was nice to see that kind of mother-daughter relationship, which doesn’t appear too often in YA.
Marcus, Julie’s best friend, was into science (physics especially), and so the fact Julie could do magic pretty much blew his mind (though he remained convinced that there must be some kind of scientific explanation for it all). He helped Julie out with the supernatural happenings and had practically been in love with her for years, though Julie had no idea at the start of the book. I think the relationship between Marcus and Julie was the aspect I found quite cheesy – some of the things they said to each other were just a bit cringey, and the letter that Marcus wrote, while sweet was a bit...well, I don’t know if anyone would write that kind of letter nowadays. Plus it was just ahh! I feel like it was supposed to be much more romantic and cool than it actually was, and I had this feeling a lot throughout the book. There was one time Julie was trying to explain that she preferred being a geeky witch to being beautiful and popular, but the way it came out was like she just resented the beautiful popular people because she wasn’t one of them, and so undermined her whole “geeks rule” argument. I mean, I wanted to empathise, I’m pretty much the geekiest person I know, but ehh. It didn’t feel right. And there was this scene at the end where Marcus stood up to some guy who had been picking on him, and it was just so cringey. I mean, it was like what Marcus said was supposed to sound really cool and wow-worthy, and probably did in his head, but to me, it was just a mixture of all the cliché teen movies you’ve ever seen and I don’t think what he said would have actually made that bully back off in the way that he did.
I think the plot was pretty clever and there were quite a few things I didn’t see coming. The way it ended was surprising and I really liked that the theories the characters had come up with at first to explain the reasons behind the mysterious events were completely wrong and that the real reason for everything was something they’d probably never have guessed at the start. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the characters next, especially since Julie has now discovered more about her past. I’m also curious as to what role Betty, Julie’s spirit guardian, will play in the next book – I’m wondering if she’ll be in it as much – I hope so!
Overall, Poltergeeks was a witchy, magic-filled read that I think may really appeal to younger teens. If you’ve seen as many teen movies and read as many teen romances as I have, though, you may find this book a bit of a cheese-fest, but I’d still recommend it.