Source: Hardcover copy provided by publisher for review, thank you!
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.
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This is a great Halloween read!
This is one of those books that's perfect for snuggling up and reading late into the night on Halloween. It's super short and quick, but there's enough character development and plot to keep you reading and intrigued. It's almost the kind of scary story that would be told around a camp fire.
The beginning is a little slow, but it's more just building up the anticipation for the end, and really pulling the reader in. This is where the character development is and I ended up really caring for the main character and wanted the best for her, which made this a gripping scary story.
The whole book is filled with unease and creepiness. From the blood covered cabin to the mysterious neighbors, who knows what is going to happen on this prairie. I definitely didn't want to put this book down while reading. The last part of the book is when things get crazy and the horror really kicks in. I was thoroughly freaked out, and I loved it. The ending is slightly open ended, but most scary stories are, they have to leave off on a haunting note.
This book has a great balance of family relationships and character development along with the scary elements, allowing the horror to have more of an impact.
As a warning, this book does touch on the topics of pregnancy, demons, and possession, so if these are sensitive topics, this might not be the book for you. However, this is still YA, so it doesn't take those things too far, in my opinion, but it's all up to you and what you're comfortable with.
I think this book accomplished what it set out to. It's a quick, chilling read that will freak you out, but keep you wanting more!