The Chalk Man

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In 1986, five friends have fun one summer, leaving little chalk stick figures and secret notes to each other, but one day, they stumble upon a chalk man that none of them made, and it leads them right to a dead body. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor tells the story of Eddie and his friends, the summer they found that body, and 30 years later when they all find themselves back together again. The truth has to come out somehow, no matter how bad it hurts.

When one of Eddie’s childhood friends shows back up in town, he’s sure that there is a reason other than to reminisce. He, Mickey, and the other members of their gang haven’t really had much to do with each other in a long time, but when Mickey winds up dead…well, it can’t be a coincidence.

Flipping back and forth between 1986 and present day, we get to see what shaped Eddie and his friends, and how the summer ended for them, it wasn’t good. Now Eddie is in his 40’s and a professor, and the chalk man has been somewhat haunting to him ever since.

So it seems everyone else in the book universe finds this story to be incredible, but I..I guess I’m one of the few that really didn’t get into it that much? It felt like it was trying to be a mix of Stand By Me and Mystic River, but it honestly just fell short for me. The writing was great, and for a debut novel I was impressed, but the whole story just fell flat…I was bored halfway through the book, and honestly, I didn’t really care who the chalk man was by the time the big reveal happened-and on that note, the big reveal was sort of bland itself. It was clear who the chalk man was the whole time…so needless to say, I didn’t give this one great marks. I’d say this is a 2 star book.

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