Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Book Review – The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupecoc

Posted September 4, 2014 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA / 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Girl from the Well by Rin ChupecocThe Girl from the Well on August 5th 2014
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.

You want to get my attention? Compare a book to Dexter. Just, you know, make sure it lives up to that comparison. Unfortunately, it did not. The Girl from the Well is not scary. There are moments of creepy descriptiveness but that does not make a creepy story. Especially when they occur briefly and inconsistently. Like this sort of creepy goodness:

‘Something is rising out of the boy’s back–something with terrible, burning eyes, yet are not quite eyes at all, preserved behind a bloodless, decaying mask that hides its face from the world.’

But as I said, it was far too inconsistent and the rest of what the story contained didn’t make the wait worthwhile. Like the style of writing: First person and then 3rd person omniscient all in one paragraph? Talk about wordy whiplash. But seriously, pick one style of writing and stick with it. And if you were going to change it up, at least make it a different section so the reader doesn’t have to backtrack in order to figure out what the hell is going on. It was unnecessarily confusing. Even if the intent was to make the narrator seem all crazed seeming since she’s a deranged ghost, it still didn’t work for me.

Speaking of the deranged ghost. Not only is she deranged but she’s got an obsession with numbers and proceeds to spend the entire novel counting shit. Counting plates. And people. And seconds of silence. Girl needs to get herself a hobby.

‘I spend the rest of the day counting. There are two janitors roaming the school grounds. There are sixteen rooms in the building. There are thirty students in the tattooed boy’s class […]’

It wasn’t thrilling to read about I’ll tell you that much. And then we find out about her obvious dislike for a particular number.

‘Seven, eight. Nine. Nine. Nine bulbs, all bearing strange little fireflies. […] No nines. Not-nine. Never nine.’

So creepy chick doesn’t care for the number nine. Ten is totally cool and her absolute favorite but number nine makes her go all Limp Bizkit on shit. Honestly, since we have no idea the reasoning behind her dislike of the number nine those passages end up being funnier than I think was intended.

As far as other characters go, we’ve got Tark whose mother is in a mental institution after she tattooed him when he was a young child. Pretty nuts and I’d be more likely to feel bad for the guy if he wasn’t such a pretentious poser full o’ emo thoughts who goes around being snooty to everyone because he’s full of angsty goodness. He sees things too but naturally worries about being thrown in with dear old mom.

“And then my mom had to… well, she went bonkers, excuse the political correctness.”

This kid is 15. No 15 year old is going to mention political correctness, or even give a shit about it. He would say mature stuff like that and then turn around and act like a complete moron the next.

“What is it about me that she hates so much, that she can’t even stand the sight of me?”

Well, gee, let’s think about this. Your mother doesn’t get all crazy until she sees you, screaming to ‘get away from him’. So clearly she’s not talking to you. You know there’s this creepy girl in a mask that follows you, staring at you, that you can only see in a mirror. Golly, could she be seeing her too? By Jove! I think we’re on to something!

Bottom line: this could have been a creepy tale of ghosts that hunt down child murderers. It was unfortunately brought down by unnecessary side stories, a horribly jarring writing style, and terribly dull one-dimensional characters.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake {PurchaseMy Review}
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill {Purchase}
The Woman In Black by Susan Hill {PurchaseMy Review}



Book Review – Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber

Posted March 22, 2012 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA / 4 Comments

Book Review – Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1) by Leanna Renee HieberDarker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Series: Magic Most Foul #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on November 8, 2011
Pages: 336
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Library


I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.


Final Page Thoughts
Dumb, dumb, dumb! *throws book*

First Thoughts
So here’s the story on how I came to obtain this book: I was browsing through the library stacks and I was intrigued by the title and was even more intrigued when I picked it up and saw the cover girl was wearing this gorgeous purple dress. (If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m a huge sucker for anything purple). Yep. That’s my story. Completely necessary addition to my review, I know.

I start reading it and I’m kind of pleased at how it starts: it’s interesting and original sounding and it’s written in the form of diary entries. If someone would have told me it was written in the form of diary entries I would’ve given them a skeptical look and kindly set it aside.

My experience with journal entry-style books have not been pleasant. Plus, I think of how I wrote in my diary when I was a teen: (“Today, I woke up and ate breakfast and then had to take the bus and it was dumb but the day got sooooo much better because Kenny touched my hand when he went to turn his homework in and I’m going to be happy for the rest of this week. I <3 Kenny. Remember not to wash hand.”) Note: Not actual diary entry. Maybe. You can understand my glee at realizing these were well written diary entries. Maybe I set the bar a bit low in comparison.

The Not So Pretty
Like I said, I found the journal entries to be interesting but they turned out to be a requirement as I’m not sure how else you’d tell a story from the POV of a girl who has been mute since she was 4 years old. This girl writes in her diary A LOT… but not all of the entries seemed entirely appropriate.

“I’ve been captured! I know not where I’m going. I’m in a carriage. Heading north, I think. I can write only a quick note.”

Uhh… you’ve been kidnapped and you’ve decided to write in your diary. I think additional comment is unnecessary.

Obviously you’re able to determine from the summary alone that some type of magic-y goodness is involved with lines like ‘He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.’ The magic was lacking in goodness in my opinion. The combination of runes, hieroglyphics, dark magic, and elements related to the Saints was definitely original but ended up being a tad far-fetched and basically a big hot mess. And once it really started snowballing there at the end she totally lost me.

‘…I called upon that sacred vow granted me as a baby, a vow I renewed now as a woman in this moment, a vow to reject the Devil.’

Uhh… sure.

And come on. She’s a mute in the real world but she can speak find in picture world.

‘I could speak in Denbury’s world. It was time I started speaking in this one.’

So she just decides that she wants to speak again? And she does. Sure. That makes PERFECT sense. The way she said it was like she was talking about getting the dishes done, that she’s just been a lazy-ass about it, and she’s decided she’s finally gonna get it done.

The Romance… Oh boy, where to begin. Let’s just say I really had a hard time believing their love. Half the book I kept expecting him to turn out to be a big jerk-face who was just using her to help him get out of the portrait, but, okay.. I was wrong. I still didn’t feel the legitimacy there. View Spoiler »

Do I need to say I won’t be reading the next one? View Spoiler »