Review | The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

“Principles are nice things. If you can afford them. I like to think I am a principled man, but then, most men do. The fact is, we all have a price, we all have buttons that can press to make us do things that are not entirely honorable. Principles do not pay the mortgage or clear our debts. A principled man is generally a man who has everything he wants or absolutely nothing to lose.” 4.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: old friends, school teachers, body parts, roommates, stick figures, secret signs, dry leafs, abortions, carousels, murders, car accidents, bycicles, stolen rings, angel wings and a lot of chalk.

I really enjoyed this book! I was thinking about whether I should rate this as a four or a five star book, but I finally decided that I’m rounding up my review up to five stars just because the story was so interesting and it was very difficult to put the book down. With that said, I felt like there were some loose ends in the story that made me consider giving it 4 stars – but I’ll talk about that later.

This story is about a group of friends in 1989 that used drawings made of chalk to leave each other messages. So for example, if one of them wanted to meet in the park, he would draw a specific drawing that meant ‘meet me in the park’ with chalk in places the others would see, and then they would bike to the park and meet him there. It was like a secret that only they would understand and know what it meant. They all used different colours of chalk to know who left the message, but no one drew in white. At one point, some terrible things started to happen and mysterious white chalk stick figure drawings started to appear during these events. No one knew who made those drawings. The story is told in two different timelines, one in the present and another one in 1986. In the present the entire group – now adults – receives a mysterious letter with a chalk stick figure and all the things that were buried in the past come to life again. And that’s all I’m going to say because I truly believe that if you decide to go into this book, you shouldn’t know much about it.

I honestly can’t believe this is a debut novel! It is so well written, the pace is great and there is a very gradual building of the unfolding of the mystery. This book kept me interested the entire time. I was never bored and I was always looking forward to knowing more about what was going on! There were a lot of secrets to unfold and in each chapter you discover something new.

I really liked the group of friends and how different they all were from each other. I never read IT by Stephen King, but I saw the movie and it reminded me a lot of that group. It is also a group of boys and a single girl that are always biking around and spending time together. I liked how mysterious some of the characters were and that also contributed to my interest.

The only down point for me – if I can call it that – was how there were some loose ends that I wish the author would address. I’m not going into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil the book for those who didn’t read it yet, but there were a couple of moments that didn’t get an explanation. I personally didn’t get the drawing of the dog and the ones at the church. The second one I think I can imagine what happened, but the first one got me confused… If you already read the book, you know exactly what I mean, and if you understood how that happened, please let me know!

Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed this book and it was really difficult to put it down. It took me a longer time to finish it because I had a very busy week, but if I could, I would have started and finished the book on the same day. Like I said before, I would definitely recommend you to not know much about the book before going into it! 

I recommend this if you like creepy stories or if you are a Stephen King fan.

xoxo, Neide

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