Book Review: The Legend of Rachel Petersen by J.T. Baroni

Did his book raise the dead?

Outraged when The Post Gazette overlooks him for a promotion, thirty-nine year old sports writer, Christian Kane quits and moves to the country to write fiction.

Inspiration flows from a grave he stumbles upon in the woods. He compiles The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating story revolving around the dead twelve year old girl lying beneath the weathered tombstone. His book becomes a Best Seller; then Hollywood makes it in to a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous, but only to have Rachel rise from the grave to seek revenge on him for slandering her name!

This 18 chapter book had me rolling on the floor laughing. It was cool the way the characters’ dry sense of humor was on full display–whether through narration, dialogue, or thoughts. The funniest moments for me were: 1) at the banquet, Christian Kane didn’t get the promotion 2) when Christian quit his job because when he gave the middle finger, his boss’s eyes went cross-eyed to see the gesture 3) when his wife commented on his first vampire story.

Don’t get me wrong. This story was definitely scary. For as many times that I giggled, my eyes became huge with fright. I tried to calm myself plenty of times–‘it’s just fiction; it’s not real’. When Thad unburied Rachel Petersen’s remains, all hell broke loose. Her ghost was relentless in torturing him and his younger brother until they decided to help her. And, when she started going after Christian and his wife, I almost fainted. I’ll never look at red-head girls with green eyes, who are 12, the same way again LOL.

This is the author’s debut novel, and I have to say I’m very impressed. JT Baroni was brilliant with characterization. I felt like I knew everyone and understood their motives. I could picture them as real people instead of just characters in a novel.

I absolutely loved that Christian wrote The Legend of Rachel Petersen in this book; readers got a glimpse of the entire story, so we understood why it became a bestseller. When it discussed the Yoder family, the plot was very entertaining. I enjoyed the brother’s back and forth. Plus, my favorite scene was on the bus heading to school–all the kids looked out the back window to see the ghost appear through exhaust vapors. If Rachel’s ghost should’ve been upset with anyone, it should’ve been her friend Sam. He was 100 years old, who kept a secret since the age of 12. He should’ve came forward A LONG TIME AGO to clear her name!

  • Getting to see Rachel’s life before she died made me sad for her. I liked that the story got personal in that sense. Poor girl. All she wanted to do was rest in peace, to be left alone. I guess she figured if the town believed she murdered her family (making her an urban legend), then she might as well make the rumors true that she is a killer.

My favorite part is that readers got a glimpse of Christian Kane’s journey, trying to get published. With self-publishing, vanity publishing, beta-readers, etc. mentioned, it felt like I was involved in an inside joke for all writers.

The ending was very creepy. I wonder if Christian’s hell would be reliving the moment at the banquet? To relive it everyday like “Groundhog’s Day”.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Legend of Rachel Petersen by J.T. Baroni

  1. Thanks for doing this book review, Yawatta, it sounds awesome. I don’t read much of the spooky genre, but your review has really made me want to go and buy this book now! 😀
    Alexandrina

  2. Hey Alexandrina,
    I hope you enjoy it–the humor may help you with the scary parts. Let me know what you thought of it if you read the book.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

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