Adventure, Fantasy

Wish You Weren’t Here (The Rooks #1) by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch


I have read a whole other series by the author and loved the approach to describing characters and relationships, and with that background, I must say that this is another intriguing start.
I did not look at the blurb just before I started reading and first encountered a family cooped up in a car, the physical proximity getting on their nerves as they travel to a new location for work; I did not know what I was getting into. I think this is the best way to meet the Rooks. Of course, the mention of paranormal activity being at the centre of all the events probably needs to be mentioned for the more discerning readers, but for me, it came up unexpectedly (and I felt this was also fun), and I took it in my stride just like the characters tend to do with any weird thing that their day literally throws at them.
There are tales of dysfunctional families quarrelling and snapping at one another, but it is more fun to watch a functional family that works well as a unit snap at each other. It provides a running gag behind the actual events, and that was my favourite part about the book. The family unit, their day jobs and the strange pieces of things that lead them to a remote location and the chaos that follows should be first introduced to a reader as they progress through the narrative and not before. If any information is provided in a different sequence, the book will lose its charm. And charm is what made me like it in the first place. The plot itself is nothing brilliant, although it might progress into a more convoluted exciting thing in later stages/sequels, it is the way it unfolds and the seriousness of the situations bundled up in trademark nonchalant delivery. My rating reflects how much more I expect from the sequel(s).
I would recommend it as a quick read for someone on the lookout for something different and for whom casual inclusion of otherworldly beings as a standard in regular life is not a hurdle.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review si entirely based on my own reading experience of this and other books by the author.

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