- 206 pages
- Reminiscent of Stranger Things
The Saturday Night Ghost Club takes place in the 1980s near Niagara Falls, just by the border between Canada and the U.S. Young Jake is twelve and he spends most of his free time with his Uncle Cal, who runs “The Occultarium” in town, a shop filled with spooky objects that tote the line between the living and the dead.
Known for it’s occult artifacts and conspiracy theories, Billy enters The Occulatrium, hoping to connect with his recently deceased grandmother. Instead, he finds friendship with Jake and Cal, and they form “the Saturday night ghost club.” Yet, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project to uncover the mysteries of the town quickly shifts into something much darker–within themselves.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a coming-of-age novel with some serious Stranger Things vibes. It’s nostalgic, it’s supernatural. It’s Magical. And, it’s the perfect spooky season read.
I came across The Saturday Night Ghost Club while pursuing the shelves at my local library, and I was hoping this small book (seriously, it’s barely 200 pages) would help me get out of a book slump I’ve been suffering through.
This book was SO unexpected–but in the best ways.
First off, I was totally expecting The Saturday Night Ghost Club to be a lot more supernatural than it actually was. While there are definitely some ghost-sightings here, that’s not really what the book is about. This book is mainly about Jake’s journey from innocence to awareness and the things his Uncle Cal has suffered through.
While I won’t delve too far into how this book ends, it does talk about some very dark happenings in Uncle Cal’s life that might border some trigger warnings for those who struggle with grief. Though, in my case, I felt like The Saturday Night Ghost Club was a really great representation of what grief looks like–especially to those that have not experienced the level of grief some of these characters have.
One thing I really loved about this book was the comradery between the characters. Jake’s parents are so supportive of Uncle Cal (and Jake), especially when Jake is keeping things from them. When he finally talks to them about The Saturday Night Ghost Club and what he’s been doing, his parents are quick to help him, without much judgement. I feel that this would be a little uncharacteristic in the ’80s, but I felt like it was so necessary to this story.
What I expected to be a quick and easy read surprised me–this book is more dark and haunting than I ever would have thought, and yet it explores these topics with great depth in less time than most.
Was this book missing something? I’m not sure. The reason I rated this book 4 stars was because I didn’t love it the way I’ve loved other books. I’m not sure if it was the time jump for me, or the formatting (it very closely resembles short stories compiled together). Yet, something held me from rating this one a 5 star book. Though, as you all know, I’m a bit stingy handing out those 5 stars to just any book.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Though, please do consider the content warnings before going into this book, especially if you’ve had any recent brushes with grief.
If you love Stranger Things and are having trouble waiting for the next season, try this one. The boys ride their bikes through town, there’s a girl that’s independence rivals Elevens, and there’s also a lot of supernatural notes here. Plus, it takes place in the 1980s.
This book is definitely moving and dark–perfect for your October TBR.
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