There’s nothing like a trip to the waterpark to make a young person scream with delight. Yes, you will get wet but also have tons of fun—unless you’re spending the day at Fathoms of Fun Waterpark. Run the other way instead as our three main characters quickly discover.

Alexander and Theo Sinister-Winterbottom are 12-year old twins. Along with their older sister Wil, they’ve been sent off in the middle of the night by their parents to live with Aunt Saffronia, a supposed relative they never knew existed. Child care is not her best trait. The only thing she cares about is making sure they use the week long passes she got for them at the local waterpark. Sounds fun until their visit turns into quite the mystery with people disappearing, terrible food choices, and some pretty wild rides.

Alexander is the cautious, rule following twin who also hates water slides. The more adventurous Theo makes a great pairing as these two try and figure out who is in the watch tower and why this place seems more intent on making sure guests never want to come back. Wil frequently disappears on her own, being more interested in her phone and Edgar, a boy she meets at the park.

The third person narration in WRETCHED WATERPARK is filled with humor and the mystery unfolds in a fast paced fashion. I’m not giving away any spoilers to keep the story fresh in case you decide to give this one a go.. The first tale in this enticing series will be followed by Vampiric Vacation in September. The summer is off to a great start!


  1. The sibling relationship. Alexander and Theo are very different but they support each other no matter what.
  2. Although the main plot points were answered there are still enough loose ends to entice readers back for more in Book 2.
  3. I’m always a bit wary when an adult/YA author switches course to take a shot at Middle Grade. Thankfully, the author has hit the mark in this mystery that will surely appeal to 8-12 year olds.
  4. The creepiness factor is not enough to cause nightmares. It will though cause young readers to read more.
  5. Reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which is pretty good company to have in a story.


Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning, and critically acclaimed author of many books, including the And I Darken trilogy, the Sinister Summer series, the Camelot Rising trilogy, and her adult debut, Hide. Her books have been published in over twenty territories, and her novel The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is currently in development with Sony Pictures Television.

Kiersten lives with her family in San Diego, where she can regularly be found pressing her hands against the glass of her back door, furtively whispering I love you to her deeply ambivalent tortoise, Kimberly.

(For more visit Kiersten’s author website)


I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Comments are welcome below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I loved the title – which does have a Lemony Snicket feel, now that you mention it! Sounds a fun story! I think I would enjoy this one! Thanks for the review!

  2. A story like Lemony Snicket sounds fun. Glad Kiersten was able to make the switch from YA and adult to MG. Thanks for featuring her book this week.

  3. This sounds like a fun book and I can’t wait to read it now that I have read your review. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. carolbaldwin says:

    thanks for this excellent review!

  5. Sounds like an engaging read for those who love creepy. Fun title and cover. Love the expression on the author’s face. Thanks for such a thorough review!

  6. msyingling says:

    Having broken a tooth on a waterslide when I was seven, I DEFINITELY think water parks are scary. I’ll have to find a copy of this. Are you planning no joining us for the #MGReadathon July 15-17? If you’ve finally gotten a twitter account, let me know and I’ll add it to the database. I’m hoping we can encourage more people to join MMGM and IMWAYR over at Unleashing Readers! More on the readathon here:

    • I am going to participate in the Reading Challenge, but I still do not have a Twitter account. I can barely keep up with my tech demands without it! I’ll be posting my progress at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE. My summer visitors to the blog go down about 25% as people take a break. Anyway, thanks for bringing the reading challenge back!

  7. This sounds fun. The cover is great. I’ll try to check it out. Thanks for the review.

  8. This sounds like an intriguing book and start to the summer. I also love the cover. I have added this one to my list and I will have to check it out. My students love spooky- but not too spooky and this sounds perfect. 🙂

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