Because this pretty much sounded like an episode of Supernatural, I knew I needed this book in my life.
And I actually got approved to read it on NetGalley! YAY! Sorry, this is cause for great celebrations, because although my NetGalley ration is about 80%…I still get denied everything because I’m an Aussie not American and that’s not really fair, don’t you think? Okay! Okay! I’m done!
Thank you Sourcebooks Fire on Netgalley for the eARC. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco came out in August, 2014.
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 shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.
I have to shout one thing first, okay? Okay. Keep calm, just let me get this off my chest:
THIS WAS AMAZING AND SCARY AND FREAKISHLY FANTASTIC. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ IT YET, YOU’RE MISSING OUT.
Aaaand…I’m done. I am! I could end the review here, to be honest. But, I’m not positive you’re convinced. (Although, in all honesty? Everyone knows I’m trustworthy and that if I like a book you ought to drop everything and rush out and read it.) But for the SKEPTICS, I will explain.
Warning: YES THERE WILL BE SUPERNATURAL GIFS. You’re not even surprised.
The Girl From The Well is part Japanese ghost stories, part mythology, part scariness.
Not that I was actually scared. Pfft. I don’t scare easily. (Unless I lose my library card, then and only then do I admit to freaking out irrationally and perhaps breaking down in heartfelt sobs. But I digress.) I was pleasantly (that sounds wrong, but keep with me) surprised at how chilling this book was. Plus I hadn’t heard anything good about it. The reviews I’d read verdicted it with “meh”.
But Japanese ghost stories?!! What could possibly be more awesome?!
It’s also got a unique narration style.
For starters, it’s narrated by a dead girl. Don’t judge. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t write a book. Okiku is a ghost who pops around the world avenging murdered children. Which is very nice of her…I guess? She likes to count so her narration is full of interruptions of numbers.
I count the condiments hanging from racks that line the walls. (Eight.) In the time it takes them to finish I have counted the flower patterns on their wallpaper, the lights overhead, the knots in the ceiling, the kitchen tiles. (8% kindle ebook)
I like it. I am a huge fan of books that don’t follow the typical styles or rules. BREAK THE RULES, I say. I like Okiku’s styles (with the counting) and also her view point which was unreliable to say the least. You, the reader, have to piece together the story from what she says and what she hears. Love that.
While Okiku the ghost is narrating, the book is also about Tark.
He’s a 15-year-old kid with weird tattoos on his arms from some Unnamed Thing From His Past. I was desperate to know the WHYS behind his tattoos. Basically, the book flings all these WHYS at you and you can’t stop until you understand it all. Like “why-is-Tark’s-mother-insane?” and “why-did-him-and-his-father-just-move?” and “why-does-Okiku-hate-the-number-nine?” It was flipping pages late into the night, just eating it all.
Then there’s Callie. She’s Tark’s cousin. She plays a huge part in the book and in Tark’s life and actually…there’s no love-interest. The book is about surviving creepy ghosts and Japan and supernatural events. There’s possibly noodles involved. Thank goodness. Food saves lives.
|These are not Japanese noodles, but whatever.|
Then creepy stuff happens. Lots of it.
From ghosts to murderers to weird children (they’re the worst) to Tark’s freaky mother to travelling to Japan…oh. That’s right, I didn’t mention that! THIS BOOK ACTUALLY MOVES OUTSIDE OF AMERICA AND GOES TO JAPAN! I’m sorry! I have nothing against Americans, it’s just that 90% of American books don’t even mention the rest of the world. But we actually journeyed to Japan and saw ancient mountains and temples and noodles (important) and Okiku went along and creepy stuff went down.
Like really creepy. I’m not saying more.
Trust me. You’re supernatural senses will be tingling.
Anything I wasn’t impressed about?
Well, the Parental-Disappearing-Act happens. Tark’s dad doesn’t believe in ghosts so we throw him off on a very convenient business trip. Ah-huh. The plot isn’t particularly fast. The ending is too tidy and didn’t quite throw the — BAM OMG WHAT JUST HAPPENED — that I was hoping for. Up till then I was stoked on the noir feel. But the end? A little meh.
But in all honesty? I just couldn’t get enough of this book. I am so, so happy with it.
For someone who’s (okay, I admit it!) a little hard to impress when it comes to paranormal activity, I was really happy with how much I adored this one! I love mythology AND ghost stores AND Japan AND noodles and this book delivered. It’s like a 4.5 in the star rating category.
Cait’s most read genre is urban-fantasy/paranormal. She doesn’t necessarily intend to base her bookish diet off them…but it happens. She likes to read books about the impossible, things that don’t exist, and delicious food. Currently she’s reading ROSE UNDER FIRE, which is actually Historical Fiction (not her norm) and she’s crying a lot because it’s about WWII and it’s sad.