The Perfect Amount of Spook!
From the moment I started this novel, I knew it was going to be spectacular. For an author to captivate a reader within the first page and establish the voice of the main character so early on in the novel is amazing and something I absolutely live for.
Blurb On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets. Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She's getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it's all catching up with her: her mother's mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father's outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden's own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up. As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden's mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.
I have met up with Katya a couple of times since she lectures at my uni and she is so sweet. I’m not saying this because I am acquainted with her, but she 100% deserves all the recognition that the book community can give her with this novel and her upcoming one titled Oasis.
It’s been days since I finished reading this novel. It was such a wonderfully spooky read, I am having trouble articulating myself. I hope my following brain dump makes some sort of sense to you.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this novel but it certainly wasn’t the complex characters, an intense plot and some magnificent world-building that had me feeling like I was in the locations alongside Hayden. Whether it be the car, lawyers office, at home, or anywhere in Promise, the descriptions were so… agh I’m just blown away!
I loved the fact that this novel was multi-format. It was primarily written as a normal novel, there were letters, transcripts, journal entries and legal documents inserted throughout the novel, not only to an extra flair to the novel but helped with context and gain a view of the actions from the other side.
I don’t read many YA thrillers. Spooky isn’t really my style. The last one I read that is around the same kind of YA Mystery/Thriller genre was Four Dead Queens, a novel which I adored just as much as this one. It’s the whole suspense of ‘knowing but not knowing’ the end of the novel and having to read through to see how it plays out.
Hayden, our main character has lost her mother, gone through intensive therapy, left her distant and secretive father and now lives in an apartment with her best friend Del. Everything changes on her 18th birthday when she receives a call from her family lawyer in regards to her ‘dead’ mother’s will. Hayden still wants to know what actually happened to her mother, so she takes on the instructions outlined for her in her mother’s will.
From this point in the novel, we know two important things. 1) Hayden is a sceptic and Del is a believer and 2) Hayden doesn’t know if her mother was on the good or bad side of the weird paranormal crap.
There is so much to unpack in this novel with the complexity of the characters to all the interesting paranormal happenings in the town of Promise, but the one thing I really fixated on was the development of our main characters.
So over the course of the novel, we see Hayden transform from being a complete sceptic and someone who would dismiss everything with logic and not even consider the possibility of the supernatural being real, to someone who cannot even find a logical reason for the happenings in her life. I love novels in which we see subtle and almost unrealistic changes in a person’s behaviour due to the events around them and the secrets they keep. On the other hand, the friend, Del, utterly clueless, remaining the same old and cannot see a reason for the change, so starts dismissing things with logic.
It’s situations like these which really help me put myself in the characters shoes because I don’t believe their behaviour changes, but then I realise times when I’ve been in situations that have changed me and understand how realistic the situation is.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book a ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) and if you’ve read the novel you’d agree with me! I understand this review is a mess. I realised I never had a coffee today which means I have the worst headache so incoherent review it is!
PLEASE READ THIS BOOK IT’S AMAZING YOU WILL NOT REGRETTI SPAGETTI!!
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).