Katrina Leno is one of those authors that I’m going to pick up whatever new book they come out with because she always impresses me with the stories she creates. In Horrid we focus on Jane and her mother as they move across the country after her father’s untimely death. They drive all the way to Maine where they move into Jane’s grandmother’s home, North Manor. The moment they get there, Jane notices that some things are… off. The smell of the roses overpowering her senses and the noises the house makes during the night. As she meets more and more people in the town at school, Jane notices how weird people act when she says where she lives. Turns out, North Manor is considered haunted, a scary tale told through the town. The more secrets Jane uncovers, the more she realizes she doesn’t know. It all seems fine, until it’s not.
Talk about CREEPY!!! This book has a fabulous creepy level. From start to finish, there is an eerly chill running up your spine, a whisper in the back of your head telling you to turn back. You’re following Jane and desperately trying to get the answers you need and solve the mysteries that keep appearing. You witness what Jane witnesses and all you can do is say, “What the heck is going on here?” It’s one of those stories that makes you realize that some people can think of things like this. OK Katrina, I see you.
I really like Jane and her perspective on the people around her. I think the way she navigates the new environment is relatable and realistic. She has some anger issues and some serious grief that she is trying to work her way through. Her relationship and memories of her father were so heartbreaking because of how important he clearly was to her. Her relationship with her mother is also good, one that you can tell is a little off because they’re both dealing with such a huge loss, but they seem to understand each other in a really sweet way. It isn’t until they get to North Manor that Jane starts to figure out that she doesn’t know as much about her mom as she thought. The journey of that relationship was really tense and really good. I’m glad it was a significant portion of the book (not like it couldn’t be) because it really helped shape Jane’s whole story and grounded it into reality. We all know about the absent parent problem with YA novels, well this one does not suffer that problem.
I think my favorite part of this book is the ending. I’m not going to spoil it here, but I will tell you that it left me speechless. I sat there after I finished it for about five minutes just trying to process what I read and wrap my head around the fact that that was where it ended. I wanted more, like fifty pages more. I’m not saying the book needed it, I think it was actually a smart ending place, but I wanted more. I want to see what happened next! I am desperate for it haha. Anyway… I enjoyed the ending.
I can’t wait for Katrina’s next book as I hope it continues down the dark path that she is currently traveling. Here is my review for You Must Not Miss, Leno’s 2019 release, I recommend this book as well!