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Monday, October 26, 2020

S&S Children's Publishing presents... WHISPERING PINES by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski - REVIEW!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're getting our SPOOKY reading on with a new(ish) release ON TOUR NOW with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing!  It's a Middle Grade Fiction title that is toted as being "a Stranger Things meets The X-Files heart-pounding paranormal ... adventure", and having just finished reading it myself the other day, I can TOTALLY ATTEST to the truth of that statement!  As I'm not one to keep you in suspense too long, let's get to the good stuff because there is OH SO MUCH of it to get to!  Ladies and gents, turn the lights on and get ready to put your courage to the sticking plate, here comes today's blog tour guest and ebook of choice...

Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski
Margaret K. McElderry Books

About the book...
Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.

The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.

No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird—starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business.

When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.


Once upon a time, there was a family.  They were reeling from the sudden loss of one of their own, in serious need of a new beginning, and by chance, they landed themselves somewhere far far away from all the painful memories...a little place called Whispering Pines.  Doesn't it just sound ideal?  Like a breath of fresh air, right?  Umm, about that...  You think your hometown is strange?  Think again.  

In Whispering Pines, sink holes appear out of nowhere, energy is monitored in a way that doesn't purely scream conservation, and disappearing kids is pretty much not a question of ever happening, but when will the next one occur!  Yes, there are definitely some strange things amiss in this community, but despite bein the new kid, Rae is just the gal to get to the bottom of it all...of course, if she's not careful, she may become a victim while trying!  Good thing she's made a friend in the neighbor kid, Caden Price.  His family may be a bit off (their business deals in the paranormal...go figure!), and the rumors flying about him may be a bit vicious (seriously doubt anyone is chopped up in the walls), but he is hiding a secret or two, and if he's to get to the bottom of his own "must uncover" list, he's gonna need to come clean...or else he too may in fact become another number on the tally of the lost!

This book was just SO MUCH and yet not enough!  I'm already clamoring to find out when the next one will come out because THAT ENDING just wasn't fair!  I HAVE to know more!  Okay, so dialing back my enthusiasm for a second to talk more about this book...

From the start, your CREEPY meter will be set on HIGH.  From the creature with TOO MANY TEETH to the unusually chipper, perfectly groomed Patrick of GREEN ON, Dr. Anderson the collector of stories (or is he?) to Aiden Price (who is still around but only just!), there is so much spooky, spine chilling strangeness to go around, you won't know where to look!  Okay, well actually you will because the story takes you firmly by the hand and drags you along for a breakneck speed ride through the pages that you will finish sooner than you hope and yet not soon enough!  Rae is a fabulous character with just enough skepticism to keep her questioning, but not quite enough caution to keep her out of trouble.  Caden was meant to counterbalance her forward motion with his cautious think first nature, but when it comes to helping those he holds close, even he has his moments of quick decisions versus contemplation.  The pair of them together, along with Vivienne (who I was surprised to see as a friend versus foe...although, what IS with the backpack?!), Alyssa, and Rae's big sister (again, surprised by her turn of character!), make quite a if they can only survive this adventure to continue uncovering the truths that they've BOTH sought all this time...

High recommendation for older Middle Grade readers who don't mind that chill running down their spine because it's definitely not one to miss!


About the authors...

Heidi Lang managed to stumble upon the two best jobs in the world: writing for kids and walking dogs. If she’s not out on the trails surrounded by wagging tails and puppy kisses, she’s probably hunched over her laptop working on her next book. She lives in northern California with her husband and two adventure-loving dogs, and she is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @HidLang, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at

Kati Bartkowski was originally drawn to illustration before she got swept up in the world of words. Nowadays she’s a fan of creating fantastical creatures and feisty heroines in both mediums. If she’s not reading, writing, or drawing, she’s probably chasing after her high energy little girl. She lives in northern California and is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @KTBartkowski, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at


Special thanks to Jenny at Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for the ebook for review and the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the authors, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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