Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Publication Date: August 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Horror
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
She takes their lives. Abusers, murders. She takes their lives and doesn’t stray but when she meets a unique boy with strange tattoos, she can’t help but follow him.
This story is based on the well known horror story that the film The Ring was based on.
Some creepy scenes pepper this YA horror novel. Chupeco is good at describing some grotesque scenes, detailing the girl from the well and her slimy, jerky movements and soulless look. The main boy she is interested in is a colorful character and I like him. He’s tortured and sad without being moody or whiney. There’s a certain curiosity about him that makes it easy to see why this spirit is drawn to him. His cousin is a main character too, but she’s not super interesting though she does play a large part in the story. There’s also a lot of Japanese culture, words and mythology mixed in which I really enjoyed. It gave the book some really interesting history and world building as well as captured the tone.
Sad to say, I wasn’t swept away by the story or the characters. The story is mostly told from the point of the ghost but there are some discrepencies. The ghost, while scary, is too human for me, more like a ghostly Dexter than a vengeful spirit. I like the idea of what the author was trying to do, but in the end it didn’t grip my heart or instill fear into my night of reading. It was watery, shifting to a typical teen plot with so-so characters instead of the creepy unique thriller I was hoping for.
On a side note: THAT COVER! Gorgeous. I like how eerie and creepy it is and it’s a perfect shot of almost a ring, looking up from a place and seeing the clearing where the title of the book is. Really great, though I can’t remember there being birds like those in the story.
Overall, I think teens who like lighter horror will enjoy this book.
Rating 4 Not My Cup of Tea