Title: Bad Juju
Author: Dina Rae
Genre: Horror/ Mature Young Adult/Paranormal/Romance
Number of Pages: 269
A Haitian bokor mentors two teens in the dark arts. Their spells backfire.
Lucien Nazaire flees his Haitian homeland and meanders around the United States for decades. He settles in a Wisconsin trailer park filled with elderly tenants. He meets Jake and hires him for odd household jobs. As their relationship progresses, Lucien invites the boy into the world of Voodoo.
Jake LaRue lives in foster care with his abusive uncle. The Voodoo lessons give him a sense of power within an otherwise helpless situation. Despite his loner status, he instantly connects with Henry, his only friend in high school.
Henry Novak has Asperger’s Syndrome. He fixates on historical events, most recently the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Like Jake, he becomes passionate about the dark side of Voodoo. They learn how to cast spells on those they hate and lust, leading up to dire consequences.
Months after the Haitian earthquake, Henry convinces his family to volunteer for the island's reconstruction. Their mission turns into a nightmare when he mysteriously walks off of the campsite.
Bad Juju is a balance of horror, romance, and literary fiction intended for adults and mature teens. The plot uses research involving the Voodoo religion.
Jake rolled out of bed and army crawled to the doorway. Looking through the opening that separated the door from the carpeting, he saw Leah’s head bloodied. She lay limp on the floor. Pete stopped hitting her. His whole demeanor changed. With a wolfish expression, he began to unbuckle his belt.
Rhianna’s screams got closer. She must have darted to the other side of the living room, putting her smack-dab in front of Jake’s bedroom door. He could now see her foot. It partially blocked his view. Shit! Can’t get involved! If I open the door…
“Pete, what the hell is a matter with you? Stop it! She’s passed out. You beat her into a coma, man! And now you’re gonna…Sober up and think of what you’re doing! Right in front of your daughter!” T.J. yelled.
Is he suicidal? Jake knew his uncle would make T.J. regret his words. Like Leah, T.J. was small. He was filled with faults, but violence was not one of them. On perfect cue, Jake could hear his uncle’s bare fists hooking T.J. in the jawbone. Rhianna’s screams turned into full-blown hysteria. The poor girl was hyperventilating while desperately grasping Jake’s locked doorknob for refuge. I don’t want to be involved! Go back to your closet and lay still!
“Jakey, Jakey, pwwweeeze!” Rhianna sobbed.
Jake couldn’t take her suffering any longer. Quickly unlocking the door, he grabbed the little girl and pulled her inside his room and then relocked the door.
The living room had grown eerily quiet. Jake had a difficult time hearing while Rhianna wailed. “It’s okay now. Try to be quiet,” he whispered, straining to hear. Nothing but silence was on the other side of his door. His heart rate doubled. Always quiet before the storm. Was it over? Or was I next? He slid on his gym shoes, took a can of Comet cleaner from his bathroom, and crept up to the only window in the room. It was small, but Jake knew he could fit through. Then came the sound he was waiting for. Click, click, click. Pete was delicately trying to open the door. He now knew it was locked.
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