Yansky, Brian Utopia, Iowa, 323 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2015. $17.99. Language: PG13 (15 Swears, 10 Deity, 1“F”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13;
The town of Utopia, Iowa is very unique; many people have different kinds of “gifts or curses”. Jack Bell has the gift (curse) to see dead people but lately things have intensified with his gift. He is being bothered by 2 different girls that have been murdered in the sleepy little town. His grandmothers as well as others are starting to realize something sinister is happening in Utopia, it is coming from somewhere beyond and the evil is after Jack for some reason. Jack finds himself in the midst of being questioned as a murder suspect, while he knows something is wrong in Utopia it isn’t until Gram goes to the ‘Other World’ that the real reason Jack is being pursued by the evil is discovered. Life in Utopia will maybe never be the same.
This is a fun book that keeps the reader entertained; the author does a good job of developing the characters and is very descriptive. I was a little confused about the things sporadically showing up in the book from the ‘Other World’ I wasn’t sure what was going on but that cleared up later in the book. There were some references to teens having sex or wanting to have sex, etc. Some references to drugs and underage drinking but not any of it to excess. The swearing was not to excess. There was the reference to how the girls were murdered and how the ‘monster from the other world ‘ate young teens hearts. Not too descriptive but a little gory and that is why it got the PG13 rating.
MS, HS - ADVISABLE Reviewed by: MAH