The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco
Genre: Teen Horror / Suspense
Reason for Reading: This book was provided by the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Tarquin (Tark) Halloway has been haunted his entire life. With a mentally ill mother and a caring father who works too much, he feels he has no one to talk to about the strange lady that slinks through mirrors and makes Tark do terrible things. But when he meets a roaming spirit, Okiku, they both begin to remember what it is to be human. With the help from Tark’s cousin Callie, Okiku and Tark must rid himself of his haunting.
My Thoughts: Let me tell you, if I had read this book when I was 14, I would have been sleeping with the lights on for weeks. The spookiness / imagery is reminiscent of Japanese horror films that The Grudge (Ju-On: The Grudge) and The Ring (Ringu) were based on. (Have you seen the originals? Not the American remakes. Watch the real thing. Darn spooky! That’s what The Girl From the Well is like.) Same evil-ghost-child-with-long-creepy-hair-staring-at-you-in-crazy-fast-did-that-actually-just-happen-flashes feel to it.
Part of Rin Chupeco’s spooky genius is her narration style. The story is narrated from the POV of the ghost, Okiku. Often, it reads like a 3rd person omniscient narrative, because Okiku mostly observes rather than acting. I often forgot I was reading a first person POV, and then suddenly Okiku would say something in the first person, and it was like she had just appeared out of nowhere. Like a ghost. Spooky. And then, sometimes Okiku would describe herself in the third person – a description of a ghost as Callie or Tark would have seen. This gave Okiku’s character a sense of otherness. She felt inhuman. Ineffable.
Overall, I think this was an fantastic book, and I look forward to reading more of Chupeco’s works. I miss the old days when ghosts were ghosts and monsters were monsters. I applaud Chupeco’s work as one more for the #reclaimhorror team. (Ok, I just made that hashtag up, so technically she’s the first on the team. But it’s all good.)
Rin Chupeco: Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. The Girl from the Well is her debut novel. Connect with Rin at www.rinchupeco.com.
2012 Book 116: Renegade, by Ted Dekker (7/27/2012)
Reason for Reading: I want to finish up this series because it’s related to a set of books that I have been really appreicating
When Bilos betrays the team and disappears into the Books, Johnis, Silvie, and Darsal must rescue him. This is a really difficult book for me to review. I’m a huge fan of Ted Dekker, and I’m reading these books because they seem to be the glue that holds together his loosely related books: The Circle Trilogy, The Paradise Trilogy, and the stand-alone book Skin. However, I feel that this series of books suffers from two fatal flaws: 1) Dekker’s trying to be too clever and 2) Dekker’s hammering us over the head with a Message. The other series make sense on their own, this series does not. It’s wildly jumping around from unreal concept to unreal concept, without enough explanation or continuity. The ONLY reason I have an inkling of what’s going on is because I’ve read the other books. And that’s not as it should be. Furthermore, Dekker’s Message is much less subtle in this book than it is in his other works (possibly since this one was meant for teenagers), and the story gets lost in its Message at time. I will continue through this series because I want to know what happens for the sake of the other series. But I’m no longer enjoying it.
2012 Book 103: Infidel, by Ted Dekker (7/9/2012)
Reason for Reading: Second book in the Lost Books of History series
May contain spoilers for the first book, Chosen
Johnis has discovered that his mother is still living. He risks his life to follow his heart–which tells him to rescue his mother from the Horde. This second book in the Books of History series follows directly on the footsteps of the first book, Chosen. Since the world is less new to the readers, this second book spends more time developing action and suspense and less time describing the world. Thus, it is a more enjoyable read. It ends, of course, with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader wanting to read the third book.
2012 Book 94: Chosen, by Ted Dekker (6/26/2012)
Categories: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction, Inspirational
Reason for Reading: Ted Dekker is my FAVORITE Christian Fiction author. He’s very good at getting a message across allegorically (and not with preachy lectures). Plus his stories are awesome. This is the first book in a young adult spin-off series from his most popular books Circle Trilogy: Black / Red / White.
My Review 3/5 stars
Johnis was disappointed, but relieved, when he was deemed “too small” to fight in the Forest Guard against the evil Horde. However, due to a chance encounter, the supreme leader Thomas Hunter chooses Johnis as one of his four new captains of the Forest Guard. He, and the 3 other new teenaged captains, are sent out on a mission to prove themselves. They end up proving a lot more than Hunter bargained for. Chosen is the first book in a young adult spin-off series from Ted Dekker’s popular series Circle Trilogy: Black / Red / White, and is also related to the Paradise series (of which Showdown is the first). This series is meant to work as a stand-alone, but I would highly recommend reading the Circle Trilogy first, since these are the books that build Dekker’s fantasy world and Chosen takes place after the events in Red. However, based on reviews of other readers, it’s clear that people can enjoy this book even without reading the original trilogy. Either way, this book is good wholesome adventure.