ARC Review: The Girl From the Well - Rin Chupeco
Genre: YA, horror, supernatural
Published on August 5, 2014
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Read From: 8.9.14 - 8.12.14
You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and the shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I do love the cover art; very ominous, very creepy. Kind of reminds me of the TV show Grimm.
Characters: I didn't really become attached to anyone, except Okiko, the ghost and our narrator. I did, oddly enough, start to really sympathize and care about what happened to her. The other characters I liked well enough; I just didn't become really attached. I felt bad for Tark for a lot of reasons - the situation with his mom, and of course being possessed by an evil spirit. I wished Callie had come to trust Okiko more, though I suppose I don't really blame her for not trusting a ghost. But at least Callie caught on quickly about what was going on, and wasn't in a constant state of denial. The malevolent ghost. . . .she was creepy. Hands down.
The Romance: There isn't any!
Plot: Okiko is a three-hundred-year-old Japanese ghost who has wandered the earth ever since her violent death, avenging murdered children by killing their murderers. Pretty awesome, right? Okiko has kept herself distant from the people she interacts with; it's easier that way. But then she meets Tark - a teenage boy with strange tattoos that chill Okiko to her ghostly bones. Tark is being haunted by a malignant spirit; one that Okiko has never met the likes of before. This spirit won't be so easy to get rid of, either. If Okiko kills the ghost, Tark will die. And if Tark is kept alive, the spirit may free herself from her prison. . . .There wasn't a moment of this book that was dull or light-hearted. It was a gristly read, filled with delicious creepiness and jump-in-your-seat moments. Maybe I'm a wimp when it comes to scary reads - I personally don't think I am. But The Girl From the Well seriously creeped me out, and I couldn't put the book down because of that.
Believability: Not applicable.
Writing Style: First person, present - and sometimes past - tense. It took me a while to get into the narration style, and I'm still not sure I really liked it. Okiko rarely refers to anyone by their name - because she distances herself from the people she interacts with and encounters. It didn't get confusing at all, oddly enough, because it was always clear to whom Okiko was referring. This was one aspect of the narration I liked. Okiko's obsessive counting of objects and people threw me for a minute - it was always appear suddenly in a paragraph - but it made sense once we got her backstory. No, the part that I kind of didn't like was when Okiko's stream-of-consciousness interrupted the narration, and the strange staircase-like descent of some of the sentences. It was. . . .interesting. I got used to it after a while, but it wasn't my favorite narration device.
Content: 13 f-words, 4 s-words. This being a horror story, there is a lot of blood and gristly imagery and demonic stuffs. I'm not really a fan of demonic imagery, and there were things about this book that disturbed me.
Conclusion: The Girl From the Well is a tricky one to rate. This was a book that you really didn't necessarily have to become attached to any of the characters to enjoy it. The plot is enough. But the narration style just really threw me. For a horror book, though, I thought it was awesome. It was genuinely creepy, and it does actually take a lot to creep me out.
Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, seventeen-and-up, fans of horror.