Juanito encounters the biggest shock of his life when he encounters what can best be described as a boogeyman when he goes out riding in the Wicker village neighborhood. Wicker village’s trailer park houses can’t be compared to the buildings reaching to heaven in West Seattle.


The sight of this boogeyman covered with bees prompts Juan with great effort to find his bearings and flee for his life. He crashes into a yard in Pear Street and abandons his bike at the sight of a man, who doesn’t fancy the children in the area because they are a major nuisance. Juan runs home, relating the incident to his parents, who find it hard to believe that a boogeyman should be pursuing Juan when he doesn’t know what a boogeyman looks like and harder to believe is an extraordinary mass of a swarm of bees in human shape. His father helps him retrieve his bike and they don’t see a single bee. There on, Juan keeps hearing and seeing weird things.


Shortly after this, Juan meets David, who prefers to be called Pinky. Friendship with Pinky leads Juan deeper into the people and secrets of Wicker Village. 


The great thing about this book is how everything ties up when you’re done reading. It’s well thought out and crafted. I love the character development and the show don’t tell concept going on in this book when texting Benito is amazing. We see how he’s adjusting to his new environment: at first, he doesn’t unpack his boxes until he does, when he’s ready to do so; we see his reaction to his father’s embarrassing vehicle and the aluminum box he wasn’t ready to call a house. There is noticeable character development, especially in Pinky.


Pinky is timid and mousy in a lousy way and even gets bullied by the tontos, a gang of teenagers who have it in for Pinky for something bad he did a long time ago. Towards the end of the book, we are encountering a brave Pinky, who the so-called boogeyman is terrified of when he holds his yoyo. Pinky also faces off with the tontos, alongside his friends: Juan, Lauren, and Bobby. Towards the end when you wonder if the story had seen the last of the tontos, they arrive in full force and propel the plot to the depth of the story in an unexpected way. 

If you’re looking for an unpredictable, clearly written book. NIGHTMARES AT ASTON is what you’re looking for.

She explained to me once that they call it sietes mares because that’s Spanish for “seven seas,” and the soup traditionally has seven different kinds of fish in it. I had thought about pointing out that hers usually only had shrimp, then bit my tongue and nodded.

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