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The Haunting of Pico (Pico, Texas Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Kampman

Kindle Price: CDN$ 2.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
 
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Product Description

Product Description

Pico, Texas is full of secrets, as Chris discovers when his family unwittingly moves into the town’s haunted house.

As an Asian adoptee relocating from a big city, Chris worries about fitting into a small-town high school still using a Rebel soldier for its mascot. But to his relief, the attitudes of the town are changing, and soon he has friends, a job, and a cute new neighbor.

Still, the shadow of a less tolerant time lingers.

Sixty years ago, Charlotte Monroe was murdered in Pico, hanged from the oak outside of Chris’s bedroom window. Chris is sure that it’s her ghost he hears every night. As the weeks go by and Charlotte’s midnight wailing gives way to violent outbursts, Chris knows that to save his family he must put the sins of the past to rest.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Fiction (Dec 27 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006QW498U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #369,777 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young adult ghostly mystery with a male protagonist Feb. 3 2012
By Kate McMurry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fifteen-year-old Chris and his beautiful, fourteen-year-old sister Eve are quite unhappy when their parents decide to move from laid-back urban life in California to the small town of Pico in Texas. Chris and Eve are non-biological siblings who were separately adopted by their parents from Korea, and at first Chris is worried that his Asian heritage will lead to prejudice against him and Eve in Pico. Fortunately, that does not happen, but he soon discovers that he has far greater problems than his social life. His parents have unknowingly purchased an old house for Chris's family that has been haunted for over 60 years by a previous owner of the house who was murdered on the property. The rage-filled ghost poses a serious threat to Chris and his sister, and he is determined to solve the mystery of what is holding the ghost to this world in order to send it on its way.

Both teens and adults who enjoy a paranormal mystery with a strong climax will be pleased with this story. It is also suitable for boys as much as girls, because it has a strong male protagonist, something that is much too infrequent in YA fiction. Chris is a sympathetic, compelling hero, and the coterie of friends he draws to himself are quite entertaining, as well.

While this novel has some excellent comic repartee scattered throughout, I would label the story primarily drama. And at certain moments it moves from mystery into suspense or downright thriller because of some truly creepy villains who crank up the action. (Note: I myself am not a fan of horror, and anyone who loves horror may not find this novel particularly scary. But for readers such as myself who don't read horror or can't stomach extreme violence, this story is plenty frightening, particularly in the ultimate resolution of the main plot.)

For fans of romantic triangles in YA, there is a quite unusual and interesting one in this book for you to enjoy.

I particularly recommend this fun, paranormal mystery to anyone who loves the Dead Is YA paranormal mystery series by Marlene Perez or enjoyed the male hero in Also Known as Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcher.

For those concerned about the age appropriateness of this story: There are a few sexual situations (though discretely handled), a bit of underage drinking, and several scenes of strong violence. Because of these things, some parents may consider this story more appropriate for teens 16 and above.

I rate this book as follows:

Hero: 5 stars
Subcharacters: 5 stars
Villain(s): 5 stars
Mystery Plot: 5 stars
Paranormal Elements: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Read Jan. 4 2012
By Backtothebike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Haunting of Pico is a ghost story aimed at young adults -- e.g., its protagonists are in high school -- but it's not written at a juvenile level. The story centers around Chris, a high school sophomore, who has been unwillingly relocated from urban California to rural Texas. His sister Eve, who is just one year younger and "nauseatingly popular," provides the comic relief during their journey. Unsurprisingly, Chris and his sister are at least somewhat pleasantly surprised to discover that their new school isn't as bad as they'd feared, and they begin making friends. Chris makes a few particularly interesting new female friends, including Rose, the mysterious girl next door. Things take a turn for the worse, though, when Chris's new house begins making noises. It sounds as if their house may really be as haunted as the locals say.

We then follow Chris and his friends as they search the house for the source of the sounds, and interview older residents in town to discover their cause. It looks like there really had been some secrets hidden in Pico....

There's also a second plot line involving Chris and his new girl friends (or girlfriends?) which is at turns both funny and suspenseful, and everything comes together at the end in an action scene that kept me up reading until the book was finished.

Pluses: great cast of characters, good balance of action and humor, great plot twists, defied stereotypes about small towns
Minuses: would have liked more "local flavor" for Pico
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story line with intersting characters Jan. 4 2012
By - Tech been good to me - - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an interesting and very enjoyable read. Realistic dialogue from solidly drawn characters. Especially enjoyed Chris, the main character, and his interactions with his parents, sister and peers. Subtle clues helped to provide suspense without giving away the ending. Satisfying ending. Looking forward to more adventures with Chris as he explores his new town.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read Jan. 3 2012
By S. Nasta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The plot and characters are the standouts in The Haunting of Pico. In the first couple of chapters we meet the characters and get acquainted with the back story, then the plot winds its way through several surprises to end at an action-packed finale. There are a few parallel plotlines, which complement each other and come together at the end. I thought the characters were also done really well; the protagonist, Chris, is realistic and likable, and his friends and family are an interesting mix of archetypes. Several characters are very funny, and the two who play the roles of villains are really well done: one is thoroughly detestable, while the other is far more subtle. I really enjoyed the book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UFR Reviews The Haunting of Pico April 1 2012
By Home. Love. Books. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So even though this book is kind of a young adult horror (and as we all know from my past reviews I am not a huge fan of young adult, and horror just freaks me out), I was actually pretty excited about this book. And here is why, it takes place in my Texas, my home state which I miss terrible, second because the high school has a rebel for a mascot, my high school had a rebel for its mascot, oh and third I'm adopted too! It's always fun when a book has different parts about it that you can identify from your own life.

For me this book was way more mystery than horror (yay cause I really don't like horror). It still had some of the standard horror elements like ghosts, but it for me the story felt more about the characters themselves and figuring out what happened/is happening to the respective characters in the book. The fact that it read more like a mystery with a paranormal element made the book easier to read for me. In fact the suspenseful elements and mystery made me have to know what was going on, and made me want to read faster so I could find out what was going to happen next.

I found that I liked the book was written as well. One of my bigger complaints with YA is that the author has a tendency to talk down to the reader or "dumb it down", but this book did not have that feel about it at all. In fact I think writing was pretty smart. There were so comedic elements throughout the book which I think adds a bit of relief to a overall serious book, which can be important to have in YA. I think that it's written from a male point of view makes it stand out in a crowd of other YA books, which is important now that so many YA books are coming out. And even though it's being told from the male point of view I could easily see the appeal of the book for both male and female readers.

I thought the character of Chris was really well written. I think he is well thought out, has enough depth to him that I think almost anyone could find one element of themselves in the character, and therefore identify with him. And I also like that the book didn't just stick to the paranormal element, Chris' life is impacted by way more than just the paranormal, he is impacted also by real life, and real things that real people can identify with.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a really easy read. In fact I think it may have been my favorite YA book I have read this year, and shockingly I have read a lot of really good YA books this year, so the fact that this is my favorite so far is saying something. I think anyone who enjoys paranormal would enjoy this book, even if you are a person who doesn't enjoy YA. But if you do enjoy YA then this book is for sure one that you should check out!

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