The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken is all about a boy named Prosper Redding, of the Redhood Reddings, and the fiend that lives inside of him. Prosper comes from a long line of Reddings, his family tree can be traced all the way back to Honor Redding who made a deal with a fiend in exchange for wealth and success for his family. Prospers thirteenth birthday is coming up and his family is trying desperately to get out of the deal and keep their wealth. They’ll do anything it takes, even if it means killing Prosper to get to the fiend inside of him. Prosper is whisked away at the last minute by his Uncle Barnabas and is hidden away in Salem where he is glamoured and given a new identity by his cousin Nell, Barnabas’ daughter. Together, Prosper, Barnabas and Nell try to figure out a way to transfer the fiend to another living creature so he can be killed without harming Prosper. In the meantime, he’s enrolled in school with Nell, under the name Ethan White. As time draws closer to his birthday, and the fiend inside of him grows stronger, things start to spiral out of control for Prosper.
This book is so full of snark and wit. I loved every minute of it. The atmosphere is amazing, spooky, autumnal vibes are woven throughout the book. The banter between Prosper and the fiend is hilarious. There are aspects of bullying through the book. Prosper is bullied because he doesn’t live up to the Redding name, and when he starts attending school with Nell, he finds himself standing up for her when she herself is bullied. The story is fast-paced and full of memorable characters. It’s such a great read for the Fall season!
Not to mention that there are several great quotes throughout the book:
“Is it not the case with these humans that they must be shown they desire something before they know they desire it?”
“being different – being simply you instead of what other people wanted you to be – was it’s own kind of bravery.”
“If you consider yourself to be an artist, then be an artist.”
“A soft heart only makes it easier for a knife to slip in.”
“Fortune can be hoarded, or it can be shared.”