Monday, January 13, 2014

What We Saw

What We SawWhat We Saw by Ryan Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two young cousins are spending the summer with their grandparents in a sort of RV park. The park is located near a wooded area and there is a beach nearby. Liam's parents' marriage may be ending. The arguments and discord between his parents have escalated to the point where they felt it would be better for Liam to spend some time with his grandparents while they decide whether or not to dissolve their marriage. Adam's situation is even sadder as he is grieving the death of his parents under truly tragic circumstances. The elderly grandparents are loving caregivers who are also struggling through the grief of losing their daughter.

The boys entertain themselves by playing games and exploring. Their favorite pastime is solving the mysteries they discover around the RV Caravan. They enjoy being fearless detectives and write their observations and clues in notebooks they carry everywhere. However, when their grandparents' dog runs off, they give chase. It's on a foray into the forbidden area of the woods that they see something horrible. What follows tests the boys' courage and forces them to face decisions for which they are unprepared. At times funny and then frightening, the author does a great job keeping the tension and suspense rolling. There is an innocence, and a delightful sense of camaraderie and (occasional) rivalry between Liam and Adam. I enjoyed the story and was surprised several times; especially at the ending. I loved that the grandparents and others within the small community had their own demons and secrets, as well.

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