Zafron, Carlos Ruiz Marina, 326 pgs. Little Brown and Company, 2013. $19.00 Content: Language: PG-13 (12 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13.
Oscar Drai is a lonely boarding school student who wanders the streets of Barcelona. He comes across a house that seems haunted, but he quickly falls in love with the two inhabitants-German (a famous artist) and his daughter, Marina. Marina takes Oscar to the cemetery where she has been watching a woman’s weekly visit to an unmarked grave with a black butterfly on the gravestone. As Marina and Oscar try to uncover the mysterious woman’s story they are drawn into a dark and ghostly unsolved mystery.
Zafron is a magical author and his Gothic story is spooky because it feels like it could be real. I enjoyed this adventure and loved the characters, but I think young adults would get discouraged and quit reading. There are too many sides stories that have to be pieced together to make the overall mystery and it leaves the book feeling disjointed. As much as I enjoyed this I don’t think there would be too many kids who would get into it. The violence is grotesque including mutilation.
MS, HS-OPTIONAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.