Rating 4/5 stars
Every winter, three families gather in an old house in the country to celebrate the New Year. This year, 15-year-old Leah and the other two teens discover that the house has a dark past: a deathbed confession led the police to the buried body of a teenage girl earlier in the year, who had gone missing 50 years before. As the teens investigate the morbid history, terrible things start happening around the house. And if Leah isn’t careful, this New Year might be her last.
OMG. Can i just say, that the ending on this book was AMAZING! I did not expect it one bit, and i am literally sitting here writing this up within five minutes of finishing the book.
Before i get into it, i will say that this is a YA thriller – But i am 27 years old and really enjoyed it. What i think was refreshing, was no swearing it wasn’t vulgar (i know i swear etc but sometimes in books its nice) But that makes sense because of the target audience.
This book was a cover buy, its gorgeously creepy. Though you don’t get to step out into the woods until the end. Anyway, this was also my first read by Sue Wallman and this will not be my last, i am hoping to pick up her others for my October Thriller fest reads.
The story takes place with Leah’s POV, and every year her and her family go to Roeshot house to celebrate new years. She is a member of the three amigos, one being her cousin and family friend Jakob. A new gal Tatum comes into play this year, and she sets the tone a lot and is quite forward, at times you want to tell her to bugger off lol.
This year they found out that a 16 year old girls body was found and dug up, the previous owner of the house Alice admitted on her deathbed of the body’s location etc. So they spend most of their time figuring out what could of happened to the girl, who’s name is Rose.
You also have a subplot, which ends up being REALLY important to the story. One of the cousins, Ivy has a sister Poppy who is sadly really poorly this year….
Okay, so it’s not a long book, its a YA thriller so at times you will feel the cheesy aspects of the characters, but it didn’t bother me. I felt at times the story could of picked up the pace a little bit as well. I got such a creepy feeling of the house they were staying in, the author did an amazing job at making sure you really felt as though you were there too. At times, when it was said about the house being cold, i felt it. Heck, i even started to crochet up some winter socks! I got vibes from when i lived with my auntie and cousins, me and my cousin had the attic as our room – Heck we even saved up our pocket money bought a mini fridge and kettle. It gave me some nostalgic feelings as a kid, spending Christmas and new year with my cousins, being VERY cold in the house we lived in. Not having phones or internet which brings me to something else i liked… They had NO phone signal no sitting around gawping on their phones or the internet, it was such a refreshing read where it didn’t have the kids revolving around social media. It was mentioned a few times when Leah would snapchat her friend when she got signal but it just felt nice yano? Especially reading that every year they would make up games to play, they used their imagination. Ahh just, sorry but it gave me warm fuzzies. Moving on….
I did get the vibe that i would be reading a frightening ghost story and at times it wasn’t enough for me in the story to show they were really actively seeking and investigating, it was often distracted with conversations that could of been left out or idk TBH i think the book could of been longer in general, I would have still given it a good rating, I could have kept reading and reading. I also didn’t feel as though these young-uns were that young. I read it as though they were adults from the way they spoke but i took into consideration they might be quite poncy. You just don’t know? But i sometimes couldn’t separate adult dialogue from the kids. Maybe that’s how teens are these days… I avoid them when i can.
I hated the new girl Tatum, in a good way. I think she was intended on being the older annoying whingey type, which again – The twist. Sue, (Not like you will read this) but that damn twist at the end, i don’t think i am ready to pick up another book until i have quite processed the awesomeness you have just provided me. Can i just say, poor Poppy? Jakob was my favourite, and for once FOR ONCE I LIKED THE MAIN CHARACTER LEAH. However, i found her hatred towards her mum’s new boyfriend Steve a little ridiculous and petty, the reasons were not good enough for me – I know the end shes ok with him but finding him annoying because he lost his binoculars? Even i wasn’t that petty when my mum dated other guys when i was younger. Plus, she had no problem with her dad and his girlfriend? So i was trying to understand what exactly it was she didn’t like about Steve. I would TOTALLY get it, if it was things like ‘He tried to tell me off, or ground me and take away my phone trying to be my dad’ But i think her mum and Steve’s relationship was still early on. I got so much cute vibes from Leah’s crush, as i remember very well what that feels like. Ahh i want to read it again!!!
I liked how it did continuously revolve around the kids, i liked that it was just them with the occasional interaction with the adults. The dog… You had to didn’t you Sue? LOL.
I can’t really say much else other than i just really enjoyed the story, the chapters were short which meant i could easily keep reading without going ‘urgh’ (we’ve all had that moment when we read a book with long..long..long..chapters.) This book has been one of the best books i have picked up this year, it just was well written and easy to read. The author has a fantastic imagination to of come up with that plot twist… YUP, here i go again with this plot twist. It was too damn good. I would highly recommend this book to anyone from 11 up or like me an adult 😀 It’s a clean story, no swearing as i said before, no vulgar teenage talk like you often come across, it was just a well written creepy mystery with an amazing ending. It was all wrapped up well, and i must say the last five chapters or so was my favourite.
I will be reading her books again, i have even followed her on social media within seconds of ending it LOL – Yup that’s me.
Oh, you know what would be interesting? A prequel. When Alice and Rose lived in the house, it would be quite interesting to be that fly on the wall and see what really happened.
You can buy this book here on Amazon – Though i would question the price they are charging for the paperback as some other UK bookshops are around £5. (Nope the link isn’t affiliated.)
I will apologise for the spelling mistakes in this review, i have a banging head and come back to it and edit LOL.
Byeeeeeeeeeee thanks for reading.