Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.
When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.
While going into this book, I was pretty terrified to start it. The title alone had me nervous (I live alone, yo) and since I get spooked easily (blame my aunt scaring me creepy ghost stories in my childhood), compounded by the fact that I usually read at night, I had stopped somewhere at the 9% of the book and kept putting off reading it. When I finally gathered my courage to read it through, I was terribly disappointed by the overall lack of creepiness. The plot centers around Lucy’s house, which has been in her family for generations, but now suddenly after the death of their cook, there are weird stuff happening. Her aunt goes missing, her cousin is acting a bit crazy, and Lucy herself feels a tenuous grip on her sanity. For all that the ingredients for a creeptastic novel were in play, nothing actually scary happens. Like one or two deaths, a murder spree or so, but that’s it. Most of the book is spent in Lucy lamenting about how much being an Acosta (her mother’s family) sucks – how they are a vain and cold people, how much she drowns in it. She is reduced to the bored rich girl trope, and one who doesn’t actually move the plot forward – she is more like a spectator. Then when things picked up towards the end over the history of the house, and the things that actually were scary arrived, I was bored enough to not blink an eye in the face of murderous covens and possessions. The ending was an actual horror-movie-worthy one, so I feel a visual medium might suit this book; as a prose, it lacks the draw.
Received a free galley from Harlequin Teen; this review is my unbiased honest opinion.