Published: 5th April 2012
Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Junior Fiction
Recommended Reading Age: 7+
During a round of Truth or Dare, Abby Miller confesses her crush on Jake Chilson. The only people who know her secret are her friends at the sleepover – and whoever sent her a text message in the middle of the night warning her to stay away from Jake…or else!
But Abby isn’t going to stay away from Jake, especially not after he asks her to the school dance.
As the night of the dance comes closer, some very creepy things start happening to Abby. Someone definitely wants to keep her away from Jake. Is it a jealous classmate or, as Abby begins to suspect, could it be a ghost?
Creepover: Truth or Dare, while not something that can really hold my interest now, is a book I know I would have enjoyed in my pre-teen years.
Fans of R.L Stine will most likely enjoy this one – I devoured the Goosebumps series when I was a kid, several of which I found incredibly creepy (I seem to recall a dolls house one that I loved and hated in equal measures). I’d say Truth or Dare is a little tamer, it doesn’t quite manage to hit that level of creepiness that would make this a real memorable story but it’s quite enjoyable nonetheless.
Abby is having 3 other girls, her best friends, over for a sleepover – cue lots of junk food, makeovers and giggling about boys. I have to say the beginning of this book did make me smile – it reminded me so much of sleepovers my friends and I had when we were that age, the amount of preparation that went into such an event, the determination to stay awake all night long (never happened), chatting about who liked who and watching bad movies.
After confessing her crush on Jake, Abby receives a text message warning her to stay away from him. Passing it off as a prank, Abby is excited when he asks her to the school dance, but pretty soon strange things start happening to Abbey. Someone is sending her threatening messages, has been in her bedroom and when she catches a girl with long red hair looking through her window, Abbey starts to wonder if maybe Sara, Jake’s dead girlfriend, is behind it all.
Truth or Dare is a clean, fast-paced, light ghost story for younger readers without being overly creepy. I could have used a bit more atmosphere and unexplained events, but then I loved being thoroughly freaked out as a child. Occasionally the narrative got repetitive or the dialogue just didn’t read as naturally as it could have done. However, Night did manage to surprise me in the last few chapters, with something I wasn’t expecting at all (though as an older reader it left me with a few unanswered questions that I’m happy to let go given the age range). Truth or Dare ends satisfyingly with a classic ghost story twist. Definitely not one for slightly older readers, but the beginning of a series I think kids will like.
*Many thanks to Little Brown for sending this for review*