Help For the Haunted was an easy read mostly because it was short and had a decent story. I say decent because that is just what it was that; a somewhat entertaining story that was boring and stale at times.
The premise for Help For the Haunted is about the Mason family. The Masons are not your typical family though. The parents, who are in the business of helping people, who are, as the title so cleverly states, haunted,are not so different from Ed and Loraine Warren. The author of the book had to have gotten some inspiration, at least for the family written about in the book, from this famous couple who is infamous for their dealings with the occult. There is even a recurring doll named Penny, a possessed Raggedy Ann doll. There is a famous Warren case where the couple has a haunted doll, of the exact same brand, named Annabelle. This was a large part in the recent film based on the Warrens, called The Conjuring. The story in Help for the Haunted even talks about the mother’s rocking chair, which is used heavily as well in The Conjuring. This was a huge problem for me and will continue to be until I find out if the author had based his book off the Warrens; if not it just seems like a very poor job on the authors behalf to come up with slightly original characters. All I could picture the entire book were scenes from The Conjuring and the actors in the movie.
The story mostly revolves around Sylvie, the youngest of the two Mason daughters, who is 14. She deals with the school children making fun of her and her parents’ profession. Her father is a priest type, with what someone in the book calls the “gift of gab,” and her mother has a power somewhat unknown for most of the book. The couple has been together since they were both young and working together while raising a family at the same time. Early on in the story, both parents are murdered in a church. Sylvie spends most the book trying to find her parents murderer and just live her life after the disaster.
The book alternates between past and present. The past scenes were the best parts of the book. I love the flashbacks because the occult cases and the paranormal.
I give Help For the Haunted a 3/5. The book was short and just not as scary or entertaining as I would have liked it to be.