Hello and welcome to another book review!!!
I am so excited to be on another book tour with @TheWriteReads. This ARC was made available by Penguin Books through Netgalley. As this was my first time reading a thriller, I had a lot of expectation, a lot of them were met and other sort of fell flat for me. One thing that really drew me in with this book was the cover, especially the UK cover, I mean that cover is simplistic and gorgeous. Gives off the chilly vibes. As I have never read a thriller/horror before, you can expect this to be a newbie experience. I do have to say that with this book, the standard for YA horror has been placed high.
Synopsis & Review
Before I go deep into the review, this book creeped me the f**k out, when I finished reading this book, I looked over my shoulder every five minutes. With much ado, let’s get into it…
I am going to try my best and not spoil this book because the chilliness of the atmosphere and the unknown is what makes this book unpredictable and scary. Let’s start with Lola Nox, the daughter of an extremely popular horror movie director Nolan. After her father was attacked in New York, Lola had to move to Harrow Lake to stay with her grandmother. Harrow Lake which has been made popular because it was the destination of the iconic horror movie, Nightjar by Nolan Nox. It was the same place where Nolan met Lola’s mother. With Lola new in town, she is bombarded with information about this seemingly sane town, with multiple disappearances and someone always stepping on her shadow. With her back in her mother’s home town, she decides to find out more about her mother’s disappearance.
Before I get into the creepiness, let me talk about Lola (because all the secondary characters didn’t really do much for me, the writing was an absolute joy but the side characters where so one dimensional, uncomplex and just plain) but Lola was just everything. Having not read any horror books in the past, I do think that a psychological horror is more messed up that any other type. The fear that creeps on you in this book is psychological, you can never guess right with the mind games. Lola was such a fascinating character, she makes it easy to empathize with her experiences. She is introduced as curious and adaptable, that is relatable until she has to pack her life and move to a creepy town were her painful past is blown in her face. Her dealing with abandonment and pain, it was like stealing was a psychological comfort.
Harrow Lake seemed so creepy and dark from Lola’s perspective because of her mental scars but as a reader, I couldn’t really tell if that was the case or if it’s Lola’s slow realization of the darkness that the village embodies. Simply put, Lola is an unreliable view point, because her past knowledge and trauma shrouds the village in a dark mist. As she and her new friend Carter looks into the disappearance of her mother she find out more about the missing young women and the police desperate effort to keep it buried.
Then we have the town’s legend (name me a town without its’ own legend and rituals), Mister Jitters (when I read this, I was like “oh spare me, how scary”, at least on that I was right). I am telling you, I could hear tapping while I was in my bedroom alone (scared the shit out of me). The town has created this sort of ritual to appease this boogeyman, the anonymity added to the cemented fear that had developed in the heart of the people of harrow lake. (I am trying so hard not to spoil this book for you)
Then we had (for me) an unnecessary romance, trust me it wasn’t needed, although it made her more related and human. She was still on the journey of self-love and it wasn’t the time for crushes. I do like the fact that the author didn’t make it a really important subplot because that would have pissed me off
Reading this book can be compared to listening to an Orchestra that you have listened to before, you know the peak is coming, you keep waiting for the peak to come, you feel like maybe the orchestra started again because they keep climbing up but never give you that climax you are expecting but when they finally give you, it is a little disappointing. That is what I experienced with this book, by the time I got to the second to the last chapter, I was hoping all the little bits tie up in a perfect bow but that is not really what I got.
I am new to psychological thrillers, maybe the confusion and incomplete satisfaction is what the author is going for because, it messed with my mind and I am itching for a better conclusion. But I am still going to say that I had a great experience reading this book, I always think that the journey is better than just the destination. I will probably be reading a lot more of Kat Ellis work in the future, beautiful writing, amazing characters and intense buildup.
I gave this book 3.7 out of 5 stars
Thanks for reading.