Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review – What The Dead Want by Norah Olson


When her Great-Aunt Esther told her to come to the Axton mansion, Gretchen never expected what she found. Ever since her mother, who was fascinated with pictures of ghosts, had disappeared years ago, Gretchen had clung to the hope she’d find her mother alive. Now here Gretchen was, at the Axton mansion, a rotting and falling apart house that was hundreds of years old. Equipped with a high-quality camera, Gretchen soon discovers the ghosts and history of the Axton mansion. After a startling series of events, Gretchen, her friend Simon, and the siblings Hawk and Hope must race to get rid of the restless ghosts. Will Gretchen find her mother? Will she stop the ghosts?

In general, this book was filled with a haunting combination of ghost photography and ghost encounters. Every detail included seemed purposeful, from Fidelia’s accounts to the wasp nest and the mirror. Each was delicately woven into the plot and utilized to make the story seem complete and exciting. I was grateful that the book was full of adventure, surprises, and suspense, making it a truly thrilling tale. The characters were realistic, and Gretchen kept diving into her past to add a backstory to the events.

It’s hard to forget the scene when Gretchen fell asleep at the piano and was bitten by the ghost of a little girl. This scene was slightly terrifying and definitely surreal.


Reviewed by Ashley, Grade 8, Libbie Mill Library

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