Freeks by Amanda Hocking

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Pan Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781509807659
(Age: 15+) Freeks by Amanda Hocking is an exciting and fast paced novel about a young girl called Mara and her life in a travelling circus alongside her mother and friends. Set in 1987, Mara's colourful travelling companions are desperate to find their next short stop as they scrounge for their livelihood going from town to town and looking to attract large crowds. Their main appeal to the public is their one-of-a-kind circus performances which includes fire dancers, tigers, magic tricks, a house of horrors, the sideshow, a Ferris wheel and more. But these are not the ordinary attractions of just any circus, half of the population whom live with the travelling show have abilities that breach the border between the natural and supernatural. On their way to their next stop (like it or not for Mara and company), many members of the troop get bad feelings about the upcoming town which put many at unease, and these feelings worsen when one of their own wanders from the camp for longer than her usual spells of absence. It's up to Mara to interpret the signs shown to her and take care with the inhabitants of the town, and find if the town brings out more in Mara than she first anticipated.
Freeks is a captivating story that indulges its readers to the engaging internal dialogue of Mara which helps add to the mystery and thrill of the story as we interpret the events that unfold both through our own eyes as well as hers. This novel is better suited for an older teenage audience due to both adult and violent themes. Overall, Freeks is an exciting read that is refreshing and leaves the reader looking for more fantastic writing by Amanda Hocking.
Sarah Filkin (University student)