4 out of 4 stars
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In Texarkana, Arkansas, in 1953, three eight-year-old boys, Dennis, Lee, and Frank, embarked on a series of nocturnal adventures that most boys their age wouldn't dare to pursue. Dennis and Lee are interested in finding ghosts, and Frank cannot say no to going with them on these nerve-wracking adventures because they are his only friends, and saying no might cost him the protection being with them brings him.
There are rumors that one of the buildings in Texarkana is a haunted house. This house, known as the Gramercy house, has been uninhabited for years after some deaths happened in it. Hence, Dennis and his friends decide to explore the place in the hope of finding specters. What will they find in this building? One thing is for sure, and it's that the boys are in for a spine-chilling experience that might involve keeping a secret forever.
I am happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Boyhood Adventures - Second Edition by Aaron L. Carter. It opened the gates for many old memories to come rushing in. I started to wonder where we got all the courage to embark on some crazy adventures back then. Aside from the introduction, the author uses the third-person point of view to tell the entire story. This title is a fiction book, but the author informs readers that the adventures of Dennis, Lee, and Frank mostly portray the true-life experiences he and his two best friends had when they were young.
I enjoyed almost every part of this book, so much so that it's hard to pick my favorite aspect. But I would go with the satisfying end of the story. A few pages to the end of this book, I actually put down the book and clapped for the author. I liked the plot twist, but I especially enjoyed how the concluding revelations helped me appreciate the opening narrations. I got answers for almost all the questions I had, which, for me, makes reading a stand-alone book satisfying.
I also enjoyed the characterization. The characters are lifelike and unique. While Dennis is almost fearless, Frank is the direct opposite. However, Frank appears to be the most brilliant lad out of the three friends. They also have their vulnerabilities, which make them relatable. For example, Lee and Dennis struggled with grammar, but I liked how eager they were to learn new words. I was so angry at some of their decisions and greatly feared for their safety. I had to remind myself that I did similar things when I was their age.
Furthermore, the author's infectious sense of humor makes this book a joy to read. Even amid nerve-wracking narrations, Mr. Carter managed to bring some relief through funny conversations between the characters. I laughed out loud when Dennis told Lee that the doctor said Frank had a 'percussion.' The poor boys later learn from their friend, Frank, that the correct word is 'concussion.' Now that I am writing about it, I feel kind of bad for not making the humorous aspect of this book my favorite.
The only issue I had with this book was the boys' strong dialect. Nevertheless, I found that it appropriately portrayed how kids conversed in the region at that time. And I soon adapted to it in no time, so I hold no grudge. I highly recommend this book to readers who would love to read a boyhood adventure story with a touch of supernatural exploits. I found a few errors in the book, but they have nothing on its well-deserved rating of four out of four stars because I didn't dislike any aspect of the book. I must commend the author for the well-developed characters, suspenseful narrations, and vivid descriptions. Good job, Mr. Carter.
Boyhood Adventures - Second Edition
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