The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 28th, 2012
Genres: horror, middle grade
Buy on Amazon
At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. A dark, timeless, and heartfelt novel for fans of Coraline and The Mysterious Benedict Society.Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.) But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out…different. Or they don’t come out at all. If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.
My first plan was to write this review:
However, I do not think the internet can handle such an awesome review. So here it goes.
After reading A Year of Shadows, I was very excited to see Cavendish on sale for the Kindle from Amazon. I bought it, and found it when I was skimming my list of unread books. A quick read from an author I adore? All good, and I read it in three days.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
This book is creepy as hell. I don’t get squeamish or freaked out by books, but this one tops my list of CREEPY-ASS books. It beats out some fairly popular horror books, in my opinion. I wasn’t even this sick reading Anna Dressed in Blood.
This novel’s driving force was the story instead of the characters, but it was an artistic move on the part of the author. The story and the mystery played center stage, and I believe (this is a first time for me) that in-depth characters could have possibly killed off the story line. Victoria was utterly bratty and I did not like her, so I found it odd that I thought highly of this character in the end.
I do not want to spoil anything, but if you need a book that will cause you to want to RIP OFF YOUR SKIN, please get this one. I am still a little spooked by the description of the bugs and the trauma that happened.
Then the end happens and you want to throw your book/ereader across the room. And it makes it so wonderful to have that level of intensity in a middle grade book.
The only poor points of the book seemed that the story flitted around some of the world building. I am a little lost, even after reading the book, when I try to understand the why behind the story. Also, I felt that Laurence, the male main character, was overshadowed and never fully explored or explained. I know I just said that the characters came second, but Lawrence was treated a little more like a prop instead of a main character.
Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is a great Halloween read. Horror fanatics will enjoy this one. This novel lacked the heart I saw in A Year of Shadows, but Legrand’s writing is vivid, fresh, and very exciting.