15 year old Julie Richardson is a witch. Her mother doesn’t let her do much magic but when her elderly neighbour is turfed out of her home by a poltergeist, she can’t just stand back and do nothing. With her best friend Marcus in tow, she starts to investigate and soon things are spiralling out of control. Dark magic abounds but who is behind it?

Poltergeeks takes the standard high school clichés and adds a dash of magic. There’s the normal girl who stands on the outskirts and her geeky best friend who she is oblivious to when it comes to his feelings. And of course, there is the jock bully who picks on the geeks and freaks. The rest of the story is pure urban fantasy tailored to a younger reader. I do think that some of it is a bit obvious and for this reason it would appeal to the younger end of the YA market, but it’s still a fun read for any age, with down to earth, sassy characters and a hint of humour.

It was at this point I realized the poltergeist, having been unsuccessful at killing me with shards of broken glass and three fifty-pound sinks, was intent on pummelling me to death with the toilets.

Not exactly the classiest way to go.

What I really enjoyed was the role of Julie’s mother. So often in YA, the parents are absent or cardboard cut outs who serve little purpose. Here Mrs Richardson is a real mother, who may annoy Julie with her strictness but is there for her as a sensible role model. When something bad happens to her, you want her to be OK because she is such a good mum.

I sort of need a two-tier rating for this book. For me personally, it’s a little young, but I do really rate it for teens and even younger. Poltergeeks is published by Strange Chemistry and will be available in paperback and ebook formats from 4th October 2012. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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