What a love letter to the 90’s this book is! From page one we are dripping in TGIF, arcade and Huey Lewis references. We get great 2020s rep though, our main character is Iranian and one of his best friends is queer. Maz, Cori and Sam are pre-teen besties until Sam goes missing one Halloween. They aren’t sure if he is dead or if he has been kidnapped into the pinball machine at the local convenience store. But over the years they drift apart. When Sam suddenly reappears, they must figure out exactly what happened to him and figure out how to prevent it again.
I really loved the atmosphere and vibe of this one – it was nostalgic while being equally creepy and hilarious. The friends were exactly as teens should be both painfully righteous, achingly supportive of one another and overly confident in the face of evil. Think the Goonies, Stranger Things or It kids. They band together nobly and faithfully to right the wrongs of the world and protect one another. This is definitely a quick, fun read. I wish we got a little more time with Sam and his alternate reality, there was so much to dig into there but we only scratched the surface. Sequel, maybe?
Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
Any new books publishing today that you’re excited for?