“Doll Bones” by Holly Black

Title: Doll Bones

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reviewer: Ms. Johnson


This is the first DCF book I’ve picked up, believe it or not. I love a bit of history in my fiction, so this one was a perfect choice for my first foray into YA fiction in a very long time.

I love ghost stories, and this one is absolutely fabulous. Black draws on turn-of-the-century social and cultural history, specifically the pottery industry, to create another world that we only glimpse through the eyes of a doll. The disturbing view we get is certainly compelling, and despite having no lines, the deceased are the most fascinating characters of the story.

That being said, I turn to the less fascinating characters of the story- Alice, Poppy, and Zachary- main characters whose cliched personalities lead to uninteresting dialogue and a predictable “coming-of-age” melodrama. Had the book focused on its spectral characters, this would have been a five-star review- but Black falls short, with not even her tween-appropriate lingo or pop culture references enough to win back that last star from after-school special mediocrity.