Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 336 pages
The Carnival is all she's ever known but an old terror could tear it all down.
In the spring of 1987, the carnival comes to small town Cauldry, Louisiana. Then events take a dangerous turn. For Mara Besnick, the carnival is home. It's also a place of secrets, hidden powers and a buried past making it hard to connect with outsiders. However, sparks fly when she meets local boy Gabe Alvarado. As they become insuperable, Mara realises Gabe is hiding his own secrets. And his family legacy could destroy Mara's world.
They find the word 'Freeks' sprayed on trailers, as carnival employees start disappearing. Then workers wind up dead, killed in disturbing ways by someone or something. Mara is determined to unlock the mystery, with Gabe's help. But can they really halt this campaign of fear?
Thoughts on the book: Freeks tells the story of our main character Mara who is part of Gideon Davorim's Traveling Sideshow. Although she lacks any specific talent, Mara has always been apart of the travelling Sideshow which goes from town to town showing the groups talents to earn money. There is the sideshow ally where you can win prizes from the games, a fortune tellers tent, a weird and wacky museum and of course the big top where there is a magician, Tigers and acrobats. Everything seems to be fine until they enter the next town on their stop. Recommended by a friend, Cauldry is supposed to bring in a huge payday for the carnival but as soon as they enter the outskirts of the town everything seems to go wrong. No matter what they do it seems like they can't catch a break and people from the show start leaving fearing for their lives. Can Mara Flanders her friends, including the new boy she met on her first night in town, find out what is causing all the destruction and save the traveling show in time?
First off can I say a massive Thank You to Alana Kelly from Pan MacMillan for letting me be apart of this blog tour for the release of Freeks. I fell in love with Amanda Hocking's writing when I was offered the chance to be a part of the blog tour for Crystal Kingdom. So when the opportunity was offered to be apart of another blog tour for Amanda Hocking I jumped at it and once again it was by far one of the best decisions I've made. There were so many things about Freeks that made me fall in love with it:
-there was the amazingly twisted plot which had me guessing all the way to the end and then left me shocked at the end as I certainly didn't expect to see the story move into that direction at all (trying not to give too much away here which is really hard).
-the fantastic main character Mara and the supporting characters. Mara is such a strong female character and in Freeks she grows so much throughout the book and learns more about who she really is and where she comes from (even though it is really set over the course of just over a week). Mara finally finds her place in the world and in the Travelling show. And as for the supporting characters I loved all of the different talents of the travelling show families and the friendships that Mara had with not only her mother but also her friends. They are all so close and would do anything for each other which is evident more and more throughout the book.
- of course there is the new relationship between our main character Mara and townie Gabe (which is the perfect mix of wrongness that you look for in a book, as she is a carney and he is a townie and you know it should never really work but it does and of course they fall in love so hard so fast that it can't possibly be true but you hope it is).
-and then there is the feel of being inside a travelling show and all of the effort that goes along with setting it up and getting everything in place for the shows. It's not as easy as people make it out to be and yes sometimes the things in them are a little tacky but this is their lively hood.
Overall I think anyone who loves Amanda Hocking or books like Caraval, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children or anything with a slightly paranormal weird and wacky feel would love Freeks and I will certainly recommend it to all my friends.
1. Where did you get the inspiration for Freeks?Freeks was inspired by my favorite things – namely, 80s pop culture. The most liberal inspiration came from Pretty in Pink and The Lost Boys, but in general, I just filled the book with as many things that I love as I could.2. What was the strangest thing you had to remember about the 80’s while writing Freeks?The hardest part for me was making sure that the slang was appropriate. There are plenty of phrases and idioms that are common now that weren’t 30 years ago, so I had to be careful with that.On the flipside, I didn’t want to use too much 80s specific lingo, because I didn’t want it to be confusing or sound silly to readers that were unfamiliar.3. Why did you choose to set the novel in a small town?I envisioned the story as sort of a Southern Gothic, taking place in a sleepy small town. The carnival coming in to town is a tight-knit group of performers, all hiding their own secrets, and I think it made the most sense to me to have Caudry be a reflection of that.