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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Book Review: Pawned by Laura Bickle

By Laura Bickle
September 10, 2018

ISBN: 9781717979100
You can hock almost anything at my family’s pawn shop…even your own soul.

You think running a pawn shop full of cursed objects with your dad and grandpops is cool? Try it for a week and get back to me. Now try picking up any random object and seeing its creeptastic history play out right before your eyes — yup, that’s my little “gift.” It’s my job to sort out what’s haunted and hexed from what’s not, and do my best to keep all of us — including Bert, our ice-cream-truck-driving-lizard demon — employed.

So it wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and possessed samurai swords even before grandpops’ heart attack — but now things are garden-gnome levels of bad. Dad made a deal with the wrong end of the dark side to save grandpops’ life, putting my whole family smack dab between the forces of evil and our friendly local blow-your-pawn-shop-to-smithereens mobsters. And Lily next door…I shouldn’t even be thinking about Lily.

All I ever wanted was to get out of this crap town and away from my messed-up family, and instead it looks like I’m gonna have to use every scrap of magic in this joint or there won’t be any family left to leave behind…

Raz is a teenager whose father owns a pawn shop on the New Jersey Boardwalk. They take ordinary items and some that are not ordinary at all, cursed, even magical. Like a gnome that comes alive, with a taste for flesh, and acts as a guard dog of sorts. Besides living with his father, Raz lives with his uncle, Sid, cousin, Carl, and grandfather he calls Pops, plus an employee, Bert, who’s actually a demon, and looks like a T-Rex! Raz has an ability he calls the Bunko, which lets him know an item’s past. All the men in his family have this until they lose their virginity, and the poor boy is the only one left with it. He dreams of leaving one day, the only thing that makes
 life worth it there is the girl next door, Lily, who lives with her mother and sisters above the restaurant her mother owns. 

This is a Young Adult horror/paranormal, though I will forewarn there is cursing, especially from Raz and the other teens. So, if you love YA, but without cussing and prefer it clean, then this book is not for you. There are some quibbles I had with it, but I still enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to the next book in the series.

I give Pawned 4 ½ sheep

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

1 comment:

  1. I love your review style. You had me cracking up. And I have read a book or two by Bickle and love her work.
    sherry @ fundinmental