Monday, November 23, 2020

Book Review | Horrid by Katrina Leno

Horrid is a YA horror novel by Katrina Leno.

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

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?


Why Did I Read Horrid?

The cover is what first caught my eye. I'm so in love with this cover! I'm also trying to read all of the YA horror written by women that I can this year. Horrid was an obvious fit for me! As as added bonus, Horrid was selected by the Ladies of Horror Fiction Goodreads group as our November readalong book.

The Strengths

I loved the writing in Horrid! I loved the imagination and the creepy build up. I appreciated how subtle yet unsettling Horrid was.

It's hard really hard to say much else without spoiling anything.

The Weaknesses

I mentioned the creepy build up and how subtle the horror is in Horrid. This does make Horrid a slow burn with the only real action happening at the very end. It worked for me, but this is not going to work for everyone.

Final Thoughts

All of my favorite books have an element of imagination in them. This is one of the big reasons I love to read speculative genres. I'm a fan of Katrina Leno's writing, and I love how she was able to infuse that imaginative quality into Horrid. I will keep my eye out for more creepy releases by Leno.

4/5 stars


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  1. I added this to my list because of the cover too😁 I'm happy to see your 4 star rating, I'm excited to read this.

  2. You finished and wrote your review so fast!! I have less than 100 pgs to go. It's a little slow but I do love the writing and the story so it will be a tough one for me to rate/review.

  3. I can take a slow build up if the writing is good. :)


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