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Monday, August 4, 2014

{Book Review} The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl from the Well
by Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Released: August 5th 2014
Genre: Fiction- YA (16 & up): Paranormal, thriller
How I got it: NetGalley

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.

Review: For me Japanese ghost stories tend to hover some where between horrifying and just plain bizarre. Ms Chupeco took the more horrifying aspect of these tales and weaved one heck of a story.
Okiku is an avenging spirit she stalks and kills, those who murder children. She is centuries old and her tale is a sad one. There are two sides to Okiku, the revenge seeking spirit who hunts and another softer side which she really only shows to Callie and Tark. Tarquin or Tark as he is called though most of the book. Tark has a secret that he himself doesn't even know he's carrying. This secret draws Okiku to him. Callie is Tark's cousin and a bit over protective which is actually a good thing. Tark seems to have a knack (or possibly curse) for trouble. While I immediately liked Okiku, Tark and Callie took some warming up to. 
The main character in this book is Okiku and as she is an avenging spirit she had a few scenes which were rather gory and possibly nightmare inducing. Thankfully I'm pretty desensitized to horror, although dead kids tend to freak me out so reading this book was walking a fine line. Some of the stuff was a bit over descriptive for a YA in my opinion yet it did add to the over all tone of the book. Perhaps this is due to the omnipresence of the narration from Okiku. Which was a bit hard to get used to, but worked for the book. 
There were some things I wasn't crazy about, yet which worked well in this book. I loved all the Japanese folklore and traditions that were weaved into the story. The writing was well done and engrossing. Over all this was a unique ghost story which didn't disappoint. 

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