WEEKLY WONDER: Skeleton Creek, by Patrick Carman(#40)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Wonder! Here’s another great book to add to your To Be Read list.

This week’s Wonder is-

Skeleton Creek, by Patrick Carman


Written in a daily journal format by Ryan, the teenage owner of the journal, Skeleton Creek is a unique format for a thriller book. That’s because it combines text with audio-visuals. Ryan and Sarah, his best friend, went exploring an old gold dredge in their town, known as Skeleton Creek. Ryan has a terrible accident at the dredge- his entire leg is shattered. Bed-ridden and helpless, under continuous surveillance by his parents, Ryan sits in bed and scribbles away about the mystery. Forbidden from seeing each other, Sarah and Ryan communicate via email. Sarah continues to unravel the mysteries of the dredge, and sends Ryan video links of it to keep him in the loop. Things are a lot more sinister than they seem to be. Maybe Ryan’s irrational paranoia is not irrational at all.


“I think my favourite writers are those who admitted while they were still alive that they couldn’t live without writing. John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost- guys who put writing up there in the same category as air and water. Write or die trying. That kind of thinking agrees with me. Because here I am. Write or die trying.”

“For a person who worries like I do and has a vivid imagination to match, Skeleton Creek is the wrong sort of place to endure childhood.”

“I like to act on these thoughts and write them down as if they are occurring. It’s a curious habit I can’t seem to break. Maybe things are safer when I think of them as fiction.”

“I think what I do is safer than what Sarah does. I can write about whatever I want- monsters, ghosts, arms falling off, people buried alive- and it doesn’t matter what I write because it all comes from the safety of my own imagination. But filming requires that there be something to film, and that has a way of leading into real danger.”

“If not for my laptop I’m pretty sure my parents would have already found me dead from a hopeless case of endless monotony. “


  • As I mentioned earlier, the uniqueness of this book lies in its  clever format. Every time Sarah uploads a video, Ryan shares the password with the reader. Want to try it out? Go to sarahfincher.com and enter ‘houseofusher’ as the password.
  • This is a book for the reader who appreciates both literature and cinema. For those who believe one is greater than the other, this is the best way to convince them otherwise.
  • I’m not a great fan of  the horror and thriller genre, but this book had me hooked.
  • It’s a series! So we have Skeleton Creek, followed by Ghost In The Machine, The Crossbones, The Raven, and The Phantom Room. I learnt of the last two while writing this review (!!!) but I have read the first three. I loved it.
  • These books qualify as YA, but really, they don’t feel as sugary sweet or angsty as your general Young Adult literature fare.

I hope you like the book and the review.

Happy Reading!




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