Dread Locks is the first entry in the Dark Fusion series from master storyteller Neal Shusterman. He cleverly weaves together familiar parts of fairy tales and Greek mythology to tell the story of fourteen-year-old Parker Bear, rich and utterly bored with life—until a new girl arrives in town. Tara’s eyes are always hidden behind designer sunglasses, and her hair, blond with glimmering spirals, seems almost alive. Parker watches, fascinated, as one by one Tara chooses high school students to befriend; he even helps her by making the necessary introductions. Over time, her “friends” develop strange quirks, such as drinking gallons of milk, eating dirt, and becoming lethargic. By the time Parker realizes what Tara is doing, he is too embroiled to stop her. In fact, she has endowed him with certain cravings of his own. . . .To say more would spoil the spooky fun of this wild thriller—let the twist speak for itself and leave you still as a statue.
Awards & Honors
From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-Shusterman brings a new and unique perspective to the old Medusa story. Parker Baer, 14, has plenty of material possessions but is bored. Then Tara, with her spirals of golden hair and dark sunglasses, moves in next door. Within a short time, Parker’s family and friends are sick and behaving strangely. When Tara takes him on a death ride that takes them over a cliff and neither is injured, the horror of her power becomes clear to him. As the situation becomes grimmer, the teen is forced to confront her with bone-chilling, spine-tingling results. Exotic and strange Tara keeps readers on the edge of their seats with her unconventional behavior and unusual perspective on everyday life. The plot twists and turns move the story toward an unexpected end. In a horrifying climax, Shusterman delivers the moral of the tale, unusual in itself, for most books of this genre rarely deliver a message so powerfully. However, it is the gross-out factor that readers will remember. Eating kitty litter with milk, statues with fingerprints, and other unexplained (until the very end) behaviors will keep readers turning the pages even as they shudder to think what will come next. The book’s front cover will attract teens, and the title perfectly fits the story. A good addition for those libraries with horror lovers who have moved on from R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street” series (S & S).
-Molly S. Kinney, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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