Horrid Review

Alright, so, tea box came in. That might come tomorrow for you all. In other news. RAHHH I’m sorry I didn’t get these out to you! Many apologies.

Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target  audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.

That being said… Spoilers ahead.

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Synopsis From The Book

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?

Horror | YA – PW |Death, Grief, Murder, Trauma | Self Identity, Secret Histories, Many Forms of Grief

Initial Thoughts Before Reading:

Alright third book for today! This has been a great day for reading and I have big hopes for this book. I have heard so many good things about this book, and now as I look at it, I am ready to be haunted and scared. Please. I need it. I need something to settle deep in my heart. Please. Lets go!

Initial Thoughts After Reading:

WOW. Color me spooked. This was such an enjoyable ride. I really want to rec the book for my book club. In part because then I don’t have to read a new book. In part because then I can talk about my new found love. This book was so much of everything I could have asked for in a spooky book.

Plot Overview:

Jane and her mother Ruth have moved to Maine. Jane’s father died from a heart attack leaving them with nothing, and so she and her mother had to move to Ruth’s ancestral home. When they arrive the house is a mess and destroyed. They start to work on getting it fixed but strange things happen. Jane sees lights flickering that should not, and roses grow back after being cut. 

Jane starts school and becomes friends with new girls. One girl, Melanie, threw a rock at her house, but later had her sister die. Jane tries to talk with her and Melanie rejects her. Jane also gets a new job at a bookstore. Jane eats books to calm herself down with all the grief, and fear that she has from what is happening in her life. She notices lights in a bedroom a d investigates it, but thinks it an intruder. Her mother and her flee, but no one is in the house. Jane investigates the room again and finds reports about her mother and her mother’s bad behavior, as well as a picture of a little girl. Jane figures this girl is her mother’s sister who died (buried alive). Her mother tells Jane that she can not eat things that are not meant to be eaten (like books).

At the Halloween dance, Jane finds out from her friends that Jemima was Jane’s sister, not Ruth’s. That she died years ago. Jane goes back home and talks with her mom about it all. Ruth goes up to bed and Jane talks with Jemima, when Melanie breaks into her house. Jane confronts Melanie, and Jemima takes over. Melanie dies buried alive, under the roses, and Jane eats rose petals in the night.

What I Liked:

Jane; She is such an interesting character. There are many things about her that have me curious, but the fact that she eats books is probably the largest point of interest for me. I enjoyed reading this novel from her perspective. 

Ghost Story; I always like myself a good ghost story mystery. And the way that this novel brings the shivers and tingles is something else. I highly recommend for anyone and everyone who is interested in being spooked.

Possession and Grief; I suppose my favorite part was the constant use of grief and possession. Was Jane actually seeing her sister, or was it her mind making her see things that were not there? This happens a lot and honestly you can read the book both ways. In some ways, there is no proof that the ghost is actually there. None. In other ways you can read it like the ghost is there. This reminds me of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, so much. This novel is very similar to that in the way it mirrors ghosts against mental instability. Which one is it? How are you reading the novel? Ghosts are just memories of things that are best left forgotten, no? Either way, I like that this book can be read both ways.

Other characters; They were all great, and relatively well rounded. Ruth, Jane’s mother, in particular I liked the most. The North women seem a little, off, in general and I wonder why that is. There is such a strange history with their family that I want to learn more about.

What I Would Have Liked or Changed:


Rating: 4.5/5

Notable Quotes:

“Grief is different for everyone. There’s no wrong or right answer.”- pg 35

‘She imagined the paper re-forming in her belly. She imagined the words dissolving off the paper and sinking into her bloodstream. She imagined her body filled with words. Made up of them. Words instead of blood, words instead of organs.”  – pg 214

pt 1

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