Author: Katrina Leno
Published: September 15, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.
As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….
Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?
This. Cover. There, that’s all I have to say: Review over. J/K! You can’t judge a book by its cover, even though we do a lot here at Jessica’s Reading Room. Thankfully, the story does indeed deliver! The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because the slow burn is really slow. I finished this book in a day so I didn’t have any trouble reading it, there were just some places where I started wondering if stuff was gonna happen or not. But other than that, I really enjoyed this story. There was enough mystery to keep me guessing, enough spooky to keep me creeped out, and good characters to keep me invested.
Bell’s Haven is one of those little New England towns that you just wanna go visit. Then you throw in a crazy old manor that everyone thinks is haunted and creepy- I’d go there. I love Leno’s use of Agatha Christie throughout the story and now I want to go read some of Christie’s books. I don’t want to say much more about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away.
Considering that there is some language, I would say that teens would like this book! Overall, it’s a great read, perfect for raising just a few goosebumps!