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Monday, August 3, 2015

ARC Review: Hawthorn by Jamie Cassidy

I received this novel for free from netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review

A house on a hill.
A house filled with mirrors.
A house with eyes that watch their every move.

“I hate it on sight. It’s dull and large and clunky, a
creepy old house with a creepy house smell.”

Learmonth village has a history, a past that they hold dear, superstitions that they cling fast to. Learmonth House, however, is governed by its own set of rules, its own past and Gemma and her family are about to discover just what those rules are.
Learmonth has a pact with the darkness and the darkness is hungry.

WOW....So I thought this was going to be a haunted house novel. It was not (though I won't tell you WHAT it was)....Cause SPOILERS

This novel was really good, once I got into it I couldn't put it down. It was creepy and dark, detailed, well written and I didn't see the ending coming until it was almost too late.

This novel was written with each chapter from a different character's POV, which I enjoyed. There are two five yeas olds, then Gemma the MC a 18 year old girl, Mary (the kid's mom) and Jules the mom's girlfriend. That's right: girlfriend. It was pretty awesome to see their strong lesbian relationship proudly on display, there is even a moment where Mary has to stand up to one of the kid's teachers for being prejudiced which I thought lent depth to the characters and the plot.

There is a trigger warning for rape in this book, Gemma is magically drugged more than once which allows the bad guy to take advantage of her sexually. It wasn't fun to read, but it moved the plot forward and wasn't written simply for shock value or kicks, it has a legitimate purpose for being there.

No love triangle, no insta-love, Gemma is a decent female lead, not a Mary Sue or Special Snowflake, but not a kick ass heroine either, she felt pretty normal actually.

The back drop of the story is England and the author does a good job with the cultural references, unlike a more recent book I just read.

The reason this is getting four stars instead of five is there is a weird jump in the middle of the book I didn't care for and I felt the last half was rushed a little bit, other than those two things not much to complain about. I really liked this and will probably read the sequel.

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