Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia
When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.
Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.
I requested this book, not just based on the synopsis, but also because I really loved Eliza and Her Monsters. I’m happy that I did.
Where do I start with this one? There are a lot of things I won’t discuss from the plot because I feel like it would ruin the book for everyone. I’ll just cover the characters and some of the basics.
Zora lived with her older sister, Sadie in a trailer. Their mother disappeared for a second time five years earlier and hasn’t been seen since. When they were young, Zora’s mom and her sister, Greta, disappeared in the woods. When they came back, neither of them could remember anything that happened before in the lives. Zora’s father scammed most of the town out of money and was in jail. He was set to be released after spending about half his sentence there.
Zora’s family was poor. Her aunt Greta and cousin Artemis had money and lived in a really nice house. Greta was never overly affectionate or loving with Zora and Sadie. But Artemis tried really hard to be friend’s with Zora. I really enjoyed both the sister relationship and the cousin relationship in the book.
Zora had a couple prosthetic fingers. Everyone in town thinks she set a fire and lost them there. What they don’t know is that Zora can see ghosts. Some of the women in their family had abilities. Zora’s mom was a hunter and she taught Zora to be, too. There were these evil spirits they called firestarters. There were a lot of deaths in their small town from fires that seemed to pop up and spread instantly. Zora took over as hunter when her mom went missing. There are a couple firestarters that live in town, but there is a new one starting fires again. Firestarters essentially consume ghosts and become stronger from it. Most of the ghosts try to stay away when they see one in town.
To make things worse, there is also a reality ghost show filming in town. Zora knows that they can’t get any real footage or their town would be swarmed. And more people made for more targets. Zora essentially works alone, but Artemis joins her at night sometimes. Artemis can’t see ghosts, but she can feel them. This small mining town has a lot of ghosts. They basically stay where they lived and died. In the end, things are too difficult for Zora to handle on her own, so she gets some much needed help, even though she didn’t want it. Zora couldn’t be set on fire. But everyone else could.
There were a lot of side characters that I loved. Zora didn’t have a lot of friends or family, but she did have a handful of people on her side. Grim who dated Sadie, and a few people she worked with. I loved the loyalty they all showed.
Warnings for ghosts and hauntings, death and killing, a sleazy older guy (Tad) that hit on younger girls and was just disgusting, fire/arson, talk of suicide, and poor people being treated bad. There was also mention of an abusive uncle, but not anything in detail.
As I said above, I really enjoyed this book. I loved reading about the town and old families there, these specific characters, and the firestarters and ghosts. And Zora’s mom’s story has me intrigued. I really hope there will be another book after this one. I still have a lot of questions.
I gave this 4 1/2 stars, rounded up to 5. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.
Have you read Now Entering Addamsville? Have you read any of Francesca Zappia’s books?