Genres: Young Adult
Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.
After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.
This was one of those books that I have been looking forward to since I read the synopsis and saw the cover and it just failed, epically. Where should I begin? From the massive plot holes and the confusing mindset of Jen, the main character, I finished the book going “What the eff just happened!? I’m warning you now, if you don’t want to know what happens, don’t continue reading. There is no way for me to write this review without spoilers. You have been warned. I’m also going to apologize now and say I HATE writing one star reviews but because of how bad this is written, I need to warn people away from this book.
If you read the synopsis and just the prologue, it sounds like this book is going to be horror filled and amazing. But then it just fails so badly in actually generating any type of fear in me, I was wondering if I had read the genre wrong.
o Plot holes. Let me count the ways (or rather how many). I seriously finished the book wondering if anyone had read this before they hit publish. The prologue is a great lead through to the horror that’s supposed to happen but then I have no idea what happened. Who were these people? Why are you alluding to something but I don’t get the rest when I’m done? It’s almost as if this was for another book.
o Jen’s mother. We know she dies and was an alcoholic and she knows something is up with Jen. But we never know exactly what happened to her. Why the parents are always arguing. Why did they even get together when the dad is obviously nuts? Is she whispering to her daughter after having been dead for two months or is that the pills talking to Jen?
o The mysterious whisper and possessions. Ok, this is where I start swearing. “WTF!” Tell me who’s possessing them. Why the whispers, why possessing random characters and making them hurt themselves? To make the book scary? There needs to be something more than just random possession or a whisper here or there to make a book scary. “Ooooh, the lights went out so let’s add a jump scare moment!” Jump scares don’t work in books, dude. They just don’t. Are they actually being possessed? This was the most confusing part because the dad is obviously one too many grapes short of fruit basket so his random moments of crazy could be all on him. Or he could be possessed…not sure by who.
o Jen’s pregnant…This shit was so confusing. Who’s the father? There is no mention of an ex-boyfriend. She just kind of shrugs it off, continues to pop pills and smoke and goes merrily on her way. Seriously? Then she “miscarries” (we actually don’t know, she just assumes), changes her pants and drives away…What (Insert many swear words)?!
o Colin. Who is this dude? I thought he was going to be a ghost because he just randomly appears, turns into almost a love interest, and disappears. Where did he go? What happens to him in the end? Like literally. We have no idea what happened to him.
o Harmony House mystery. Everyone in the town knows that this place is spook central and an episode of Scooby Doo in the making, but no one knows what exactly happened in the house and apparently neither did the author. We know stuff happened but we are left not knowing how much of the urban legends were true or not. Jen finds gravestones that look like those of babies. But again, everything is allusion and assumption. A reader should not have to assume anything because you know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me.
o Religion. Honestly if I had known that there was going to be so much religion and repentance and “healing” shoved down Jen’s throat, I probably wouldn’t have picked this book at all and saved myself the pain of this epic debacle.
o And finally, 1997. The book was set in the 90’s and the only reason why I can think that the author did this was so that he didn’t have to explain why she didn’t have a cell phone on her. Other than that, we never get a sense of it being the 90’s.
I wish I had been warned before picking up this book and saved my money. I feel sad because this sounded like it had huge potential but just failed so badly.