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Hidden Pictures

Rating: 4 Stars

Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy. Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman's lifeless body. Then, Teddy's artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force. Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it's too late.

So I was intrigued by this book because it has all the perfect elements of a fun horror movie: a kid doing something creepy, a babysitter nobody would believe, and a ghost. I mean what's not to love... you just know how it's going to turn out. Well, I was wrong... I thought I had figured it out, but it wasn't until like the last 5 chapters that I actually figured out a piece of what was actually happening. It had a huge plot twist that I didn't actually see coming, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars. While it had a plot twist and the creep factor to the max, especially with the drawings included, I had so many different issues with this book.

I did not like any of the characters... none of them were relatable or even made sense. Mallory is unlikable basically every time she thinks or opens her mouth. First off, she doesn't question ANYTHING really just takes it all in stride, and oh this kid is possessed by a ghost... let me tell my theory to absolutely everyone I know... whether they ask or not. She is unable to tell the truth about her past to Adrian, which was really just annoying. The Maxwell's just scream creepy and suspicious, but we don't even question anything they do... like ever. The characters aside the author was not very sensitive in writing certain topics and tried to get away with big topics by making it the identity of a character. I really just struggled to connect with this book. I honestly only gave this book 4 stars because I didn't foresee the ending coming from the beginning. It was a pretty slow read up until like the last 5 chapters, which had so many problems themselves.

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