Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Doll Bones

Doll Bones by Holly Black

I'm a little ashamed. I could have sworn I've blogged about Holly Black before, but apparently not.

I've read quite a few of her books such as Tithe, Valiant, Ironside, The Poison Eaters: and Other Stories, as well as the first book in her curse workers series, White Cat. I'm a relative fan since I've never picked up a Spiderwick Chronicles book.

But I love every book of hers that I've read before.

So world, you should get some Holly Black reading on.

TO DOLL BONES WITH AN AMAZON SUMMARY! "A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I think the main reason this book appeals so deeply to me, is that I spent much of my childhood creating stories of the different ways my toys interacted with each other. I also liked to reenact my favorite parts of books but make them end differently or what have you.

Truly solid childhood moments.

When I came across Doll Bones, it had been highly recommended to me by Cindy of Bookends on booklist. Basically she told me the premise, that she loved it, and I had to read it.

So she handed it over and here we are. Funny how AWESOME that is. :D


It begins with Zach, Poppy, and Alice having an epic adventure...in their driveway. They've brought their toys out and have embarked on an epic adventure with their favorite characters.

The book balances a fine line of telling the story of Zach, Poppy, and Alice while also telling the story of children beginning to define what their adult life might look like. It's pretty sweet.


So Zach gets home, puts his stuff away, goes to school, everything is the normal awkward middle school life, but when he gets home he can't find his toys. He panics, rips his room apart, and his Father admits he threw them out in an effort to get Zach to grow up.

Zach is a complete mess. The toys weren't just pretend, they were an escape to another, exciting world. Something that his Father seems to have misunderstood.

Zach, instead of telling Poppy and Alice what happened, he tells them that he doesn't want to play anymore. He's very evasive about it and both of them are quite upset.

Poppy approaches both Alice and Zach with a quest to free the Queen. Their stories always had an old doll of Poppy's mother be a driving force in their world as she was trapped in the castle (a cabinet) and favors could be earned for pleasing the Queen or to undo the Queen's displeasure.

Zach kind of brushes it off at first, but agrees after he sees the ashes and flecks of bone within the Queen.

Plus Poppy is being a bit spooky.

The three friends set off on an adventure, possibly the last adventure of their childhood.

It was a supremely excellent coming of age story of sorts; what is childish? What is growing up? Do they have to cancel each other out, or can they exist in harmony?

It was a wonderful story geared towards younger readers (the main characters were twelve (middle school)) but anyone who struggled with 'growing up' would appreciate.

Happy reading!

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