Today we are a tour stop for Rin Chupeco's The Girl from the Well blog tour!!!
Read on for Elicia's review of the YA horror novel.
The Girl from The Well ● Author: Rin Chupeco
Sourcebooks Fire ● August 5, 2014 ● ISBN: 9781402292187
Hardcover/$16.99 U.S. ● Ages 14+
The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting and lyrical reimagining of the Japanese fable.
Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem—if the demon dies, so does its host.
With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well
Something you should know firsthand: I actually requested this book in NetGalley because it had something to do with Japan.
The fact that I had just finished reading Amanda Sun's Rain at that time was another contribution to my decision, what with it being set in Japan and the rich culture within the country.
But honestly, I would still have requested for this book regardless because a) The story is really intriguing and b) Look at that cover, just look at it. Perfection to the eyes. I could look at it all day long.
Basically, The Girl from the Well tells a story of a boy who is quite unusual, and has a secret that could put him in an asylum, like his mom. Okiku and his cousin Callie may be the only ones to help Tark as he slowly loses control to the evil spirit that lives within him.
This book is not usually what I would read, because it has a strong sense of horror in it, and I being quite- ahem- afraid of ghosts, would not pick up books like this.
I do not regret my decision. The book scared me, especially when the narrator is a ghost from an ancient ghost story, and she kills people who murder kids in the most gruesome ways.
But I am proud to have finished reading the book.
The book was really graphic, with the author describing death scenes without missing any detail, even the bloodiest ones. I really admire Chupeco for being so forthcoming with these details. God knows what goes on in her head when she writes. *wince*
What intrigued me the most though, was the relationship between Okiku and Tark. It's almost like there's romance between them, but there seems to be no show of it through anything physical, possibly except the ending.
I'm still left wondering if this book has romance in it, but I guess it really depends on the reader.
However, let me make something clear.
You don't really need romance to make a YA book good. It would surely score points, but it would be incredibly boring if every single YA novel had romance inside them (not that I mind, but sometimes it would be good to have something unique once in a while)
The Girl from the Well is proof of that.
The characters... They were awesome. I can't find any other word to describe them. They each have their own secrets and backgrounds that they enrich the book itself, making it even more vibrant. Do I even make sense? Think of a beautiful painting that stands out among a collection of many others.
All the characters are related to each other in the most unexpected ways. And this usually results in twists.
Okiku's obsession with counting and her sometimes third-person narration makes her a very unique character. Her character is unusual but, I think that gives the story more depth. If someone is so easy to read, where's the fun?
I also think Okiku isn't just a unique character, I think she also deserved the title for heroine, even though she was a strange type of heroine. She did save Tark's life.
Now when I speak of twists, which I know all readers dread and love, you will not be disappointed. You will get the I-can't-believe-this-is-true feeling as you wade through the book.
And many thanks to the author for making dolls really creepy. I think every time I look at one, I'll start thinking that there's an evil spirit residing in there...
BEWARE: The ending is one you are not prepared for, not now or ever.
Brief Review: Ghosts, exorcisms, demon and death- what better things to have in a horror book? This author's love of ghosts is obvious in her writing and characters. She doesn't hold back in her descriptions; no matter how bloody they are, she moves on with a grim determination which could be entertaining at times and adds to the climax of the book. All I can say is that the author's writing really flourished in this book. She has already made me re-consider my decision to not pick up any horror books in the future!
Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'
The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living---Marcus Tullius Cicero
Praise for The Girl From the Well:
“[A] Stephen King–like horror story…A chilling, bloody ghost story that resonates.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Chupeco makes a powerful debut with this unsettling ghost story…told in a marvelously disjointed fashion from Okiku’s numbers-obsessed point of view, this story unfolds with creepy imagery and an intimate appreciation for Japanese horror, myth, and legend.” –Publishers Weekly, STARRED
“The Girl from the Well is part The Ring, part The Grudge and part The Exorcist…A fantastically creepy story sure to keep readers up at night… Okiku is one of the most interesting YA characters to date.” RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ STARS-TOP PICK!
“A dark novel that will appeal to horror fans, lovers of Elizabeth Scott’s ‘Living Dead Girl.’” –School Library Journal