Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Release Date: February 17, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ARC: Edelweiss
ISBN: 9781442441828
Ages: 13-18

About the Author:
Carly Anne West is a freelance writer with an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. She lives with her husband and son in Seattle, Washington. 
In her debut novel The Murmurings, Carly Anne West stepped onto the YA fiction scene with a chilling paranormal thriller reminiscent of Stephen King's best work. Check out her website here


I love a good ghost story. With the success of The Conjuring and Insidious, not to mention Paranormal Activity, encountering the paranormal is both exciting and daunting. With fear and trepidation, we step slowly into the dark halls of the house we know we're not supposed to be in, or we follow the sound that cannot be deciphered as human or ghost. Fear is the adrenaline that West clings to in her novel, and she does so with imaginative settings, believable characters, and just enough spine-chilling descriptions to force readers to keep a light on at night.

Penny is having a rough home life, and she doesn't get along with her father and her stepmother. Reminiscent of the scary movie The Messengers (with Kristen Stewart and all her awkward glory), Penny's parents decide to take her to Washington to renovate a home insidiously named Carver House. Dealing with the emotional death of her friend Rae, Penny tries her best to find some comfort there, but she realizes not long after the move that Carver House isn't just dilapidated from the unfriendly passage of time, but it's haunted by children who call out to her and one particular mural of a young boy that subtly changes.

West's characters are definitely dynamic, and Penny's emotional turmoil and often dejected personality are heightened by her supernatural experiences in the house. Her descriptions of disregarded furniture and ragged mattresses paired with sounds of playfully eerie tapping and disembodied voices are what horror craves to be. 

If you love the paranormal, reading The Bargaining isn't up for debate. 

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