Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Published: November 2, 1987
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Beware of Helen…
Heather is such a whiny little brat. Always getting Michael and me into trouble. But since our mother married her father, we’re stuck with her…our “poor stepsister” who lost her real mother in a mysterious fire.
But now something terrible has happened. Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home — a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the pond…to drown! I don’t want to believe in ghosts, but I’ve followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I’m terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather…
This was the first book by Mary Downing Hahn that I read. I was looking for scary, ghost stories and this one was perfect! After I finished this book, I worked my way through most of her other books. I very much enjoyed this story, but I gave it 4 stars because of Heather. Unfortunately, I doubt she could be changed much because her awfulness is what makes Helen believable. I just don’t understand how any parent could allow their child to act the way that she does.
I think we’ve already established that I’m not a very compassionate person. I don’t have much patience for self-pity, or for the excuses people use to shift responsibility for their lives. Yes, Heather saw her mother die in a fire and I get that that would be a traumatic thing for a kid. But, why the heck was she not taken to a therapist?? Spoiling a kid is never the right course, no matter what the situation! Ok, other than that, I love this book! I always go back to it when I’m looking for a creepy read. Hahn did a great job of entwining history and ghosts. Molly is a great protagonist, she’s very believable and I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. It’s also safe for younger readers. I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a scary, ghost story.
Author: Emily Carroll
Published: July 15, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course, you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout web-comic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.
Creepy as all get out!!! I mean holy crap! Ivan got me this book for my birthday this year, and that shouldn’t be surprising since he’s a horror geek. And I give him credit; he never buys me a book without reading the description first and if it doesn’t sound good to him, then he saves it for me to buy for myself. But I digress! This was a great collection of eerie stories! Most of them have a lot of implied horror, which I do like, just not as much as obvious horror, cuz I’m an obvious person! I did love the illustrations, but there were times when I felt like I was reading a kid’s picture book. Obviously, it’s not a kid’s book, it was just a little sparse for my taste. Other than that, I really liked this graphic novel! A good one to send chills down your spine! Definitely a must for anyone who loves the macabre!
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Published: September 15, 2015
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.
Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.”
Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.
Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.
Debut author Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary – and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.
This book is another result of my scary book phase. The cover drew me in and I just had to read it. I read it the first time three years ago, and since then, I had forgotten all the details. Plus, I’m a huge Dawn Kurtagich fan after reading The Trees Crept In. For some reason I didn’t make that connection until just recently. I decided to pick it up again so I could write a review . . . totally forgot about the formatting and I LOVE it!!!! I love the journal formatting combined with the “video clips” and audio interviews. It made the whole story more real. The tension created by all the mystery and psychological anomalies kept me guessing the whole way thru! Getting into Carly/Kaitlin’s head was terrifying and fascinating all at the same time.
The Mala and Grundi elements made me want to do some research to learn more about them. And there was very little teenage drama. Any “drama” was low key and realistic enough to keep it from getting annoying and ruining the story. And the ending was vague enough to leave you thinking and considering everything that I read, but satisfying enough to keep me from throwing the book across the room. I’d absolutely recommend this book to older teens and anyone looking for a psychological read.[Top]