ARC Review: The Haunted

The Haunted

**I won an arc from Goodreads and this in no way influenced my thoughts – all opinions are my own**

Sit back, my lovelies, as this review may ramble on as it won’t be incredibly positive. I was promised a horror story but what I got was anything but. It was full of cliches, weak plots, and even weaker characters. You’ve been warned.

While this is a super short and quick read book, it wasn’t very good. It was mentioned many, many, many times by the MC, Hendricks, that people are cliches. She hated the cliched people at her old school and she disliked them even more at her new school. But you know what? This story was chalked full of said cliched characters inserted only to fill specific roles and nothing else. These characters had no personality, no dimension, no depth, nada. I’ll give examples:

  • Misunderstood, mysterious teen who dresses all in black, huge chip on his shoulder, and appears only when it is convenient to the story line.
  • Golden boy that is always “too good to be true”. Never met an enemy, everyone loves him, and he loves everyone.
  • Popular girl who is cheerleader and knows the skinny on every single person in town and in school.
  • The artsy best friend of said cheerleader. They bicker constantly but “swear they balance each other out”.
  • New girl in town. She’s mysterious and quiet. All of the above people befriend her because they want to “know her backstory”.

Reading a story with the above characters did not help the story at all, it took away from it. I just knew what the characters were going to do before they did it so the suspense was never there. Hendricks’ character was the only one I really learned anything about but it was just a wee amount. The big thing to know about her was that something really bad happened to her at her old school and her parents moved her to a new town for a “clean slate”. I stress this because it was also mentioned several, several times throughout the story. It isn’t until the end of the story that Hendricks’ past was revealed. While it was horrible what she went through (abuse by her then boyfriend), the fresh start in a new place should have brought Hendricks out of her shell but it did not. I really would have liked to see who she could have become away from the tragedy she endured by her ex.

Now while I mention all of that about the characters, notice how I did not ever mention the actual ghost story aspect of this novel. That’s because the promise of a spooky story felt like an after thought. It felt as if it was thrown in to help move the story along when it became stagnant. I had a very difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that this family moved into the one house in town that was known to be haunted, immediately start renovating it, then proceed to live in it? *insert eye rolls here* It was not believable. There were too many things that contradicted and therefore made me wonder what was going on. At one point Hendricks’ made mention that the windows had no glass in them and were only covered with plastic sheets – sorry, but you want me to buy into the fact that parents would leave their daughter and toddler at home with no windows in the house?! Get out of here. There is absolutely no way.

That wee bit of information aside, there was nothing that felt ghostly or creepy about the story. Weird bumps in the night are one thing, but telling me there are spirits of murdered teens haunting the house but only bringing them into the actual story when things were slowing down was a terrible struggle. It did nothing more than break the pacing of the story and it never really got back on track.

The other thing that stood out to me was that this story wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be when it grew up. It started out as a coming of age/self discovery story, then it morphed into a ghost story, but then changed its mind and hinted at being a contemporary but OH NO, it’s a creepy story again. It was simply trying too hard to be all of the things and failing instead. There is an INSTALOVE that happens in this story and you know how I feel about them so I’ll just leave it at that. It was an eye-rolling, groan inducing story line FOR SURE.

The ending of the story was a HOT FREAKING MESS. The author tried to sum and reveal everything in the span of two paragraphs. It was not pearl clutching, it did not cause me to gasp, it did nothing for me. It had me saying, “What the french, toast?!” outloud and not in a good way. It was forced and it was unbelievable and it was a cop out.

Overall, this story read like a second draft instead of a finished book. There was a whole lot of editing that needed to happen, revisions and development all around. It was a struggle to get through but I kept reading only because I kept hoping it would get better. Bad on me because it did not. Do I recommend? Not unless you want a hot mess of a story that isn’t exactly sure what it wants to be when it grows up. Is it spooky? Nope. Will it leave you wondering what you just read? You bet.

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Haunted

  1. You and I share the same opinion of this book. I found it unbelievable; the characters were 2D or even flat; and I hated the ending. Your review is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I always feel bad leaving a less than glowing review but I felt the reasons for my rating were required. This promised one thing but delivered another.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no. I started reading this and I have a physical ARC sitting here STILL waiting to be read. I can’t even finish reading your review because 20 pages in I already knew that I was in for a book that I probably wasn’t going to be a huge fan of. I really hope that I can find a way to enjoy this book. I was SO excited when I got a copy and that hype has lessened and lessened the longer I’ve had it. Now I don’t even want to read it… Maybe it will surprise me, I do enjoy some superficial YA trash now and then.

    Like

    1. I do hope you find a way to enjoy it if you do continue with it! Not ever book is for every reader so maybe I’m the exception, not the rule. Maybe you will love it!

      Liked by 1 person

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