Book Review: The Bargaining

Author: Carly Anne West
Pages: 384
Published: (Anticipated February 17, 2015)
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5

After finishing this novel, I’m in a similar boat as some other reviewers in that I wanted to like this book so much. The cover is gorgeous, it was incredibly eerie, and was a very creepy idea for a YA horror novel. But the writing for some reason just wasn’t working out for me.

The Bargaining told the story of a young girl named Penny that can’t seem to find anyone who won’t give up on her. After befriending a girl named Rae that did everything possible to destroy the person Penny was, Penny’s life began spiraling out of control. Previously living with her mom, Penny was then passed on to her dad and step-mother, April, to finish out the school year.

April is a realtor that buys houses and then flips them for profit. After informing everyone over dinner that she had purchased an old abandoned home called the Carver House, April decided that she would take Penny with her for the summer to live in the home while they fix it up.

Just outside of the North Woods, the Carver House was clearly inhabited by someone or something prior to Penny and April moving in and Penny finds an old mural of a young boy painted on the wall in one of the rooms.

This novel had so many intertwining story lines and elements of paranormal creepiness that I typically love in horror novels. The actual writing was also very eloquent and easy to read, but something about it was vague and at times confusing. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint what exactly was vague about it, but I felt that there was something missing from this story that kept me from fully enjoying it.

Granted, this copy that I reviewed was an ARC and therefore there may very well be changes to the final story. But for now I have to rate it a 3.5/5. Definitely has potential and I am now going to look into the other works from this author.


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