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Thursday, August 7, 2014

{ARC Review} THE GIRL FROM THE WELL by Rin Chupeco

Book Title: The Girl from the Well
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publishing Date: August 5, 2014
Length: 304 pages
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting story about an American boy whose last hope for protection lies with a vengeful ghost

Okiku wants vengeance...and she gets it. Whenever there's a monster hurting a child-the same way she was hurt 300 years ago in Japan-her spirit is there to deliver punishment. But one American boy draws her like no other. The two are pulled into a world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from the American Midwest to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan. The boy is not a monster, but something evil writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Can Okiku protect him? Or is her presence only bringing more harm?
I would like to start my review with some status updates. I rarely make status updates, but this time I did.
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08/02
7.0%"creepy wonderful beginning. the broken structure of the writing is powerful, but feels like I'm going mad myself. obviously based on the ring legend. wonderful descriptions of malice"
08/02
42.0%"The constant counting is...hard to describe. Bothersome but I think because it solidifies her personality, her feeling of vexation and being trapped. Love the unique names. So sad for Yoko and her choices and Tarquin. Calliope is fantastic. What a wonderful young woman."
08/02
47.0%"idiot girl. tell him what you know!""

This to me is where I should start my review. This book definitely had a creepy, wonderful beginning. And as the story unfolds, you quickly realize or can draw the correlation to the legendary asian/japanese stories of The Grudge and The Ring. The ghost's counting will make you feel as if you're going mad, however. LOL This is the first time I've read a book written this way where it didn't anger me. It was incredibly powerful to have her thoughts broken into mish-mashed phrases and words, trickling down the page. I thought, at first, it was a structure problem with the advanced unedited copy, but it soon becomes apparent that it is a device the author uses on purpose.

As I read on and learned more about Tarq and his mysterious tattoos, my forehead creased with a frown, puzzling out why his mother went crazy. And you learn more about the ghost who is intrigued by him so much so that she takes an interest in him and follows him around. This is not her usual. Her usual is to track down those who abuse and kill children and take care of them.

The horror scenes are horrific, as they should be. If I were watching this as a movie, I would probably be peeking through my fingers at the scene. As that makes it hard to read,  I instead was glued to my kindle absorbing every word. While you feel wholly bad for Tarq, you feel relief that he has Calli as his cousin and you begin to appreciate Okiku for all that she does.

I don't want to say more about the plot. Some of it is very recognizable if you are a horror buff or are familiar with asian legends. I smiled to myself as one story about the girl who haunts toilets was revealed; my mother, who is korean, told me many a ghost story and that was one of the more well known ones. I don't want to give away one iota of Yoko and her history, Okiku's legend, or how Tarq and Calli fare. I want you to read this. Go into it with an open mind because the writing can be off-putting. Not the writing, but the chosen structure, which serves to highlight Okiku's imbalance and personality and slight madness from being a few hundred years old ghost. All told, this was a wonderfully told tale with high creep factor that will have you keeping your lights on...and perhaps jump a little if they suddenly flicker off.