the curse of the jack o´lantern by r. brian robbins

In 1868, an innocent girl was sent away and put to death for witchcraft. Her mother, the true Witch of Willow Branch, swore revenge upon the entire town.

Grandma Bertie warned Gus and Molly of the Legend, and they discover that someone has resurrected the witch´s curse and the town of Willow Branch is about to pay for its past. In order to save their mother from certain death, Gus and Molly find themselves in the middle of Willow Branch´s greatest unsolved mystery as they come face-to-face with their worst nightmare while they search for a way to forever end the Curse of the Jack O´Lantern.

With this book I start what promises to be a month of spooky reads and creepy reviews, so it makes sense that it´s a lil´ bit different from what I usually post here. The Curse of The Jack O´Lantern reaches for a younger audience, but I recommend it to all who wish to read something that mixes that cozy Fall feeling and that creepy jitteriness that comes with scary stories and late night tales.

And worry not, dear reader, because this review has been declared completely spoiler-free by…well, me.

The book itself is divided into three separate stories, all interconnected by characters and adventures, focusing on the dreaded Witch´s curse. It´s perfect for rousing your sleepy Halloween-loving self who has been hibernating since last October. The author´s clean and neat style makes it very easy to picture characters and situations, and the origins of the Curse and the Witch herself are woven into the plot in a way that doesn´t get heavy or tiring.

One thing I´d like to put in the spotlight: Molly and Gus´ sibling relationship. It´s very real, and I, as an older sister, could really relate. It´s well developed and easy to get into, which is a rarity in the storytelling world; one sibling usually tends to be underdeveloped or all together forgotten, so this was a welcome change.

Something I enjoyed about the book not being intended just for teenagers: other relationships had space for development besides the main characters´ (which is something that YA books lack). For example, I love Grandma Bertie and her neighbor Mr. Grogan´s interactions, and it´s nice to read about a different love story, and a much more realistic one at that. And having storylines running parallel to the main one allowed for different points of view, not just from the kids, but from the grown-ups, too (let´s hear a hooray for multiple POV´s).

This is a comfort book, surrounded by that feeling you get when you eat Grandma´s apple pie or snuggle under a blanket during a rainy day. So if you´re looking for a book to get into the Halloween spirit and to read with some apple cider, this is it.