Dreams, Ghosts, & Tractors by Jeanette Smith Andersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Dreams, Ghosts and Tractors is a young YA suspense mystery set in Nampa, Idaho in the 1980’s. Melissa Mae and her friends are in Junior High School aged 15 years old, it’s nearing the long summer holidays. There is excitement with the arrival of a new older boy to the area, Brandon is aged 16 and good looking with it. Melissa or Missy hasn’t been sleeping well, her dreams are filled with strange tractor noises.
Jim Forst arrives in town on the Greyhound bus, he’s returning the old family home, a funeral parlour, looking for something. He’s keeping a low profile and paying with fake money.
There’s an old Pit near Melissa’s house, a place where locals dump rubbish, it’s shrouded in superstition, supposed to be haunted and a lure for kids to hang out. With school out and time to spend on sleep-overs or just hanging around, Melissa wants to find out the mystery behind the tractor noises. Her friendship with Brandon leads to dangerous night-time excursions and the raking up of the past.
For me the wording used for many of the teenager’s conversations and their behaviour needed a little work and I felt there needed to be more evidence of all the unbridled hormones that this age group brim with. Going to a friends house to swim six laps of the pool and then leaving soon after didn’t feel real for 15 year olds. To capture the YA reading audience this book needs to really pop with boundary pushing, emotional highs and lows and extremes of passion whether it be fear, love, fashion, rule-breaking or ghosts.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
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