Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.
Author: Craig Davidson
My Rating: 4.5/5
My Favourite Quote: “But a secret can be hidden from everyone save its holder, and the brain is not only a storyteller, it is a truth-seeking organ.”
This book feels like the month of August during summer vacation as a kid. While I don’t think this is a novel comparison, I would liken the feel of this book to both Stranger Things and IT. In that it really captures the tone and atmosphere of lazy summer days, and with the addition of the great intrigue that ghost stories and other paranormal ideas can uniquely inspire in a child’s or teen’s mind. Much of this book feels like you are telling ghost stories with your friends, but darker elements start to trickle in which children don’t quite have the perspective to understand fully. It’s an incredibly immersive and interesting experience.
I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed the entire experience. I think the pacing was well done, I didn’t notice many areas that dragged, and I felted engaged throughout the book.
The ending of this book was really interesting, and quite different. It is foreshadowed along the way so while I wasn’t necessarily surprised about what the story was leading to, however saying that it was a really engaging journey and I feel had a satisfying ending. This is one of those books where once I finished it, I just sort of sat and thought about its world— it lingers, which I think is a positive impact for a book to have.
Also, I have to mention that I think the cover of this book is beautiful. It really captures the tone of this book very well! This feels like a wonderful book to read in the summer or fall if you are looking for a different sort of ghost story! Overall, I would really recommend this book!
If you have read this book I’d love to hear your opinions! Also, if anyone has any recommendations of books in this same sort of tone, I would be very interested in taking a look at them!