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Monday, March 25, 2019

REVIEW: The Haunted by Danielle Vega @razorbillbooks @vegarollins

The Haunted
by Danielle Vega

Thanks so much to Razorbill Books and Astoria Bookshop for this advanced copy.

Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: June 4, 2019
304 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror

Hendricks Becker-O’Malley is new in town, and she’s bringing baggage with her. With a dark and wild past, Hendricks doesn’t think the small town her parents moved her to has much to offer her in terms of excitement. She plans on laying low, but when she’s suddenly welcomed into the popular crowd at school, things don’t go as expected. 

Hendricks learns from her new friends that the fixer-upper her parents are so excited about is notorious in town. Local legend says it’s haunted. Hendricks doesn’t believe it. Until she’s forced to. Blood-curdling screams erupt from the basement, her little brother wakes up covered in scratches, and something, or someone pushes her dad down the stairs. With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don’t take her first.

My Review:

I have seen Vega's Merciless series in the book stores so often that I've almost... ALMOST... bought one.  I'm not sure why I was hesitant.. maybe it's because I figured YA horror couldn't possibly be frightening... but these days I'm finding that I'm quite enjoying this mixed genre and Vega is making that belief a hardened one.

Haunted house and ghost/paranormal stories are a bit hit or miss for me.  Sometimes they downright freak me the f*** out and other times I'm rolling my eyes about the typical chains rattling, boo crap we see around a lot.  The Haunted, while maybe not SUPER scary, was definitely on the line of pure sinister and it wasn't until the very end that I did get that crawling sensation throughout my human sack.

Hendricks has moved into the Steele House and she has no idea that this one is well known throughout this small town she's just moved to.  Apparently a little girl died in the cellar and strange things keep happening.  She blows it off as pure rumor... until she starts being the recipient of said strange things.  But with her past, her parents blow it off as her PTSD and don't take her seriously.  

Interestingly enough, the parents are barely around so Hendricks is in charge of herself and her little brother quite often. This gives ample opportunity for this house to play with her mental state.  Slowly the story ramps up as we learn about Hendricks's past and the history of the house. Now, considering this is YA, I did have to take certain things with a grain of salt.  There is a little bit of insta-love that made me eye roll for a bit and when we got to a certain part I was like oh c'mon.... that's IT?  But no, no it wasn't and thank goodness! 

The story definitely took a little turn I wasn't expecting and with this I began to truly appreciate the story.  I'll tell you one thing though - I never liked old houses and certainly ones that are already rumored to be haunted... no thank you.  

This definitely is moderate on the creep factor, but the story is fast moving and as said before, has solidified my love for YA horror.  If you're a fan of Amy Lukavics, you will like Vega.  I'm certainly going to pick up the Merciless series the next time I run across them.


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