Book Review: ‘Horrid’

Horrid” by Katrina Leno

Source: Owlcrate

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy


Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiralling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all — it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more… horrid?

This was a perfect book to pick up during Spooky Month. I loved reading ghost/haunted house stories as a kid and this really was like a more ‘grown up’ version of those books.

Jane is very much a normal girl. Someone you could easily sympathize with and picture yourself in her place.

I enjoyed how this book was scary but I don’t know if I’d consider it out right horror. It was just unsettling enough to make you a bit uncomfortable.

  • Packing up your entire life & moving cross country? Scary. ✔️
  • Living in your deceased grandmother’s house that hasn’t been occupied in years? Scary. ✔️
  • Moving to a small town where everyone seems to know all about you? Scary. ✔️
  • Sensing strange things but no one else senses them? Scary. ✔️

I like the unreliable narrator trope so I devoured this book. It was interesting to see Jane fall down the rabbit hole. Is the house really haunted? Grief makes you do strange things. Anything was really on the table.

All in all, a good pick for someone looking for something creepy to read but can’t handle BIG scares.

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