Author: Amy Lukavics
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harlequin Teen (September 29, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Horror
My Rating: 3 Stars
When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.
When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.
Going into this I was expecting something magnificent, something horrifying and original but as I started it, instead I realized more than anything, this would more than likely just be an odd, unusual read and not at all creepy or scary. In fact it took me a very long time to really understand Amanda and even like her. I'm still not sure that I like her, but oh boy, did we get a good hard, long look inside the inner workings of her mind.
*shudders* This read might have started with little interest and me not thinking it was scary at all, but it certainly wasn't how I thought of it by the end. It ended up being the dark and horrifying read I was earlier expecting and somewhat disturbing, not only with the details of the story, but as Amanda's thoughts and feelings turned darker, more confusing, harsh, and disturbing.
In fact, “disturbing” is such a great word for this read and if I could only use one adjective to describe it, that would be my number one choice for it.
This book is not for the faint of heart or for those of us with wild imaginations, both of which I might add, I do in fact possess.
It had so much potential but honestly, the first half of the book was slow and strange and the second half, explosive, disturbing and left me reeling. So many unanswered questions and so much happens that it truly was overwhelming.
Did I like this story? Yes and no. I think with more work it could have been amazing but instead the first half fell flat and the second was just too much and too little too late. But I did enjoy it and the twists were crazy and the spook factor by the second half was definitely there so for those things alone, I am giving this three stars instead of two.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*