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The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow

The Devil and Winnie Flynn

by Micol Ostow

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The Devil and Winnie Flynn is more an homage to scary movies and reality t.v. than an actual horror novel, so readers looking for a fright won't find it here. Rather, those who enjoy paranormal/horror pop-cultural references and a behind-the-scenes look at the "reality" of reality t.v., will enjoy this romp through New Jersey's haunted landmarks.

After the recent suicide of her mother, Winnie is spending her summer vacation as a production assistant for her aunt's supernatural reality show, Fantastic, Fearsome. Despite being a big horror movie buff, Winnie is not a "believer", though she's surrounded by plenty of people who are. As she travels with the cast and crew to film New Jersey's famously haunted spots, she quickly realizes that while there's a lot of staging going on, there's also something odd that's connecting her mother's death to her aunt's search for the New Jersey Devil.

Written as Winnie's journal entries to her best friend back home, the novel also includes location illustrations, scripted interview footage, and more from the show's production that makes the setting feel authentic and keeps the plot well-paced. Winnie's voice is cynical but self-deprecating and she throws around such popular references to paranormal television shows and scary movie tropes that even non-fans will have fun recognizing them. A suspenseful, supernatural mystery with a touch of humor, romance, and girl power. Recommended for ages 13-up. JF ( )
  WhitneyYPL | Apr 24, 2016 |
Winnie is spending the summer after her mother's suicide with her Aunt Maggie, the producer of a reality urban myth series. Winnie does not believe in the paranormal and her aunt hopes spending the time working on the show will change her mind about the paranormal.

I loved the way this is written in first person as a letter/journal to a best friend. I enjoyed the drawings and scripts interspersed throughout the story. Great characters, good story, good urban myth. The build-up for the scare was great but the scare was not there. I was ready for it, lights on, curled in a blanket then the last chapter and a half happened. I was like, "Is That All There Is?" What a letdown!

I did enjoy the book enough that I will read more of this brother/sister team. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Dec 7, 2015 |
Lots of pop culture references for paranormal fans, but weak on character development and lots of plot holes. This is definitely more of a vacation book, but for people who don't want mindless romantic dribble. ( )
  Smudgezilla | Nov 3, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161695597X, Hardcover)

Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, Fantastic, Fearsome, she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey.

New Jersey’s famous Devil makes perfect fodder for Maggie’s show. But as the filming progresses, Winnie sees and hears things that make her think that the Devil might not be totally fake after all. Things that involve her and her family. Things about her mother’s death that might explain why she’s never met Aunt Maggie until now.

Winnie soon discovers her family’s history is deeply entwined with the Devil’s. If she’s going to make it out of the Pine Barrens alive, she might have to start believing in what her aunt is telling her. And, find out what she isn’t.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:56:13 -0400)

While working as a production assistant on her aunt's television show about the paranormal, a seventeen-year-old girl discovers a psychic ability of her own, which may provide clues to her mother's death.

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