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[A quick note: This is the Owlcrate edition of Horrid, so the cover is slightly different than the mainstream version. I do not generally branch outside of sci-f/fantasy so receiving this book in the September box was a pleasant surprise. I was in the mood for reading something a little spooky in the month of October and this couldnโ€™t have come at a better time! It has made me realize that I do like a little thriller-spooky-horror mix in my reading and will now actively seek out some similar titles. What a pleasant surprise! Also, I entered this photo into the Owlcrate photo challenge and I think it came out so well! **patting myself on the back for this one**]

โ€œ๐‘ฐ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’•๐’ ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’›๐’†, ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’“๐’š ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’“๐’†๐’Ž๐’†๐’Ž๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“, ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’‡ ๐’…๐’๐’†๐’”๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’–๐’๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’Œ. ๐’€๐’๐’–โ€™๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’‡๐’†๐’†๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’†๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’–๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’–๐’. ๐’€๐’๐’–โ€™๐’“๐’† ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’๐’Š๐’๐’—๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’๐’†๐’˜ ๐’๐’๐’†๐’”.โ€ โ€”Katrina Leno

MY SYNOPSIS: This spine-chilling tale explores mental illness, death, rage, and grief in a way that keeps you reading, page after page. When a devastating tragedy strikes, Jane and her mother Ruth move across the country to Ruthโ€™s childhood home, Bells Hollow, Maine. North Manor is in shambles, but they set out fixing it up, picking up the pieces of a broken life. As Jane settles in, she finds solace in her books and memories of her dad, but she struggles to discern reality from imagination. Secrets follow, especially when the lights go out. The locked storage room on the second floor is more than it seems. And soon Jane finds out exactly why.

MY THOUGHTS: I could not put this down. With major Stephen King vibes, Horrid was the perfect October read. Full of chills and thrills, the spook-factor on point! It was everything I wanted and didnโ€™t know I needed. But I will warn you: even though it was definitely YA, there was some twisted stuff in these pages. Our MC, Jane, deals with death, grief, and some serious anger issues. We see her struggle through these issues while confronting the creepy house her mother inherited.

โ€œ๐‘บ๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’…๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’“๐’†๐’Ž๐’†๐’Ž๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’Š๐’“๐’”๐’• ๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’Œ ๐’”๐’‰๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’… ๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’.โ€

The first sentence of the book absolutely hooked me! Janeโ€™s biggest issue is anger. Serious anger. She confronts it regularlyโ€”set off by the simplest things. We see early on, within the first sentences of the book. And we also sees that she combats this by eating books. Literally. Iโ€™m NOT kidding. One page at a time, she works her way through her favorite reads, often over the course of a year, before starting a new book. This is her mental illness. The thing she really struggles with. And I found it absolutely PERFECT for the tone of this novel:

โ€œ๐‘บ๐’‰๐’† ๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’…๐’” ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’”๐’๐’๐’—๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’‡๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‘๐’‚๐’‘๐’†๐’“ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’๐’•๐’ ๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’๐’…๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’Ž. ๐‘บ๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’ƒ๐’๐’…๐’š ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’…๐’”. ๐‘ด๐’‚๐’…๐’† ๐’–๐’‘ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž. ๐‘พ๐’๐’“๐’…๐’” ๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‚๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’๐’…, ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’…๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‚๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’๐’“๐’ˆ๐’‚๐’๐’”.โ€

Katrina Leno did a wonderful job portraying Janeโ€™s struggles. She wove some serious issues into the plot. These issues fit together with the spooky aspects like pieces of a puzzle. I found myself fitting together clues as I filled in the holes. I loved the ah-ha moment when I realized the โ€œBIGโ€ secret nipping at Janeโ€™s heels.

This book wasnโ€™t entirely perfect. There were a few things that could have been better. Just minor stuff. A few characters could have had more depth. The names of each character felt rather basic and arbitrary. Jane, Ruth, Susie, etc...Does anyone name their kids Susie these days? Maybe Iโ€™m out of touch? The romantic in me would have loved to see just a bit more from Jane and Will. But overall, those things werenโ€™t crucial to the main story, which was so creepy and fun.

If youโ€™re like me, and not a huge horror fan, this is the perfect โ€œget your toes wetโ€ kind of book. In fact, itโ€™s shown me that I like just a little creep factor, especially in October. Iโ€™m inspired to go find a few other books with this level of horror. It has broadened my horizon. Isnโ€™t that the purpose of a good book?

I highly recommend this for a Spook-Tober read! MY RATING: 4/5โญ๏ธ

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ยฉ2020 by Author Melissa Mitchell