Thank you to Edelweiss and Greenwillow Books for the chance to review this title ahead of its release date.
Francesca Zappia. That name makes me hit pre-order no matter what the plot is. No matter how the cover looks. Zappia has me spending my time and money on blind faith alone because the moment I finished MADE YOU UP, she became an auto-buy author, and I became a lifelong fan.
What is this book about, you ask?
Our protagonist is named Zora, and she can see ghosts. She comes from a tumultuous family (father in jail for a Ponzi scheme and mother who has disappeared five years prior) and lives with her older sister, Sadie, in a trailer on a bluff overlooking the small town in Indiana. Years ago, she was blamed for a fire while battling a “firestarter”, a vile ghost, and the town looks down on her ever since. When another firestarter shows up in Addamsville again, Zora must dodge a ghost hunting television show and deal with little support from the town she’s trying to save.
Zora is the YA version of Odd Thomas, and I am here for it. I’ve been waiting for something like this, and I got it. Now, listen, this is not your typical Zappia book, BUT hear me out. This hits home with some hardcore emotions. Zora’s anger over being blamed by the town and imprisoned father, and feelings of loss over her missing mother, she feels alone at times. Zappia wrote: “This book is about our bonds with our family, our friends, our neighbors, and ourselves.” Take away the ghosts and mysteries, and you have a girl who just wants to feel normal and wants what everyone else has: love and support.
NOW ENTERING ADDAMSVILLE is a fun, emotional journey and hits all the sweet spots in a YA. We have an OWNVOICES protag (ace) and a setting both exciting and scary. She writes hardships and struggles and always seem to make me tear up with her prose. Zappia books are in a way, the equivalent of slipping into a warm bath, Lush bath bomb and all and playing some really good old school rock; both relaxing and heart-thumpingly delicious.
I love Zappia’s books because she incorporates magic into the real world with such expertise that you believe ghosts are walking around you as you sit and sip your tea. Maybe they are. Maybe we just can’t see them. And maybe I just want you to read this book because you won’t regret it.
P.S- I could not help but think of Zac Baggins when reading the arrogant ghost hunting, tv host character of Tad Thompson. I could not stop laughing. I still can’t. bahaha