Sunday, August 20, 2023

Book Review - Holly Horror by Michelle Jabès Corpora


Holly Horror by Michelle Jabès Corpora is about a young girl who moved into a new house following her parents’ divorce. Evie Archer, her brother, Stan, and her mother move from NYC to Ravenglass, Massachusetts for a fresh start. Evie is excited for a new start and to blend in with everyone. She quickly learns that the house she moves into has a dark history and all the locals know about it. 

The Hobbie House is also known as the Horror House after a young girl around Evie’s age named Holly Hobbie, goes missing from the home. Her body was never found and no one knows how she disappeared as she vanished from her bedroom without a trace.

As Evie begins to investigate the house’s past, she realizes there is more to the story. She learns that before Holly went missing another young girl disappeared in an eerily similar way. Evie wonders if the two cases are connected. As she investigates, she realizes that something insidious is in the house and it’s slowly encroaching on Evie’s life. Evie is starting to have a hard time differentiating what is real and what isn’t. Will Evie find out what happened to Holly or will she suffer a similar fate?

The young adult novel was a quick and entertaining read. The author slowly builds up the suspense and creepiness factor to set the mood. The book is told from Evie’s perspective and her character is well fleshed out. However, the author did not do as great a job developing the other supporting characters in my view. I wish we got to learn more about her mother, Stan, and Evie’s romantic interest, Desmond. The story hints that something happened with her father but, it was much later did we get some idea of what occurred. I hoped the reader got more detail about familial relationships earlier on especially when Evie was struggling at Hobbie House. It would have helped shine some light on Evie’s mental state.

While the book is billed as a horror novel, I didn’t find it scary or spooky. I found that the story was a bit slow to build up and it was very predictable. The romantic element was a bit fast, especially the intensity. It seemed that Evie liked Desmond but then didn’t always keep him in the loop and they went from talking about their sewing class to being madly in love. It seems that a lot of the characters said that Evie was spiraling out of control but didn’t do much to ensure she was okay or vice versa. Her friend, Tina, who got Evie interested in the history of Hobbie House didn’t really play much of a role. I was surprised that the book was going to be a part of the series as I felt like it could be a standalone. I felt like the book took forever to build up and when it finally got to the end, it happened so quickly. However, I would be open to reading more books from the series. If you like young adult horror series, then you might enjoy this book.

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