Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Read - Diary of a Haunting

Diary of a Haunting
by M. Verano
2015
313 pages

'In the tradition of Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, an American teen recounts the strange events that occur after she moves into a new—and very haunted—home with her family in this chilling diary that features photos and images of what she experienced.

Letters, photographs, and a journal…all left behind in the harrowing aftermath.

Following her parents’ high-profile divorce, Paige and her brother are forced to move to Idaho with their mother, and Paige doesn’t have very high hopes for her new life. The small town they’ve moved to is nothing compared to the life she left behind in LA. And the situation is made even worse by the drafty old mansion they’ve rented that’s filled with spiders and plenty of other pests that Paige can’t even bear to imagine.

Pretty soon, strange things start to happen around the house—one can of ravioli becomes a dozen, unreadable words start appearing on the walls, and Paige’s little brother begins roaming the house late at night. And there’s something not right about the downstairs neighbor who seems to know a lot more than he’s letting on.

Things only get creepier when she learns about the cult that conducted experimental rituals in the house almost one hundred years earlier. The more Paige investigates, the clearer it all becomes: there’s something in the house, and whatever it is…and it won’t be backing down without a fight.
'

*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

 This book does not compare to Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity at all as far as scary factor, but it does remind me of those types of movies in that you don't get the whole story easily handed to you.  Because this is written in diary form, you're only given the quick glimpses into what's going on.  Part of the intrigue is just that, trying to figure out the things you're left wondering about.  As for scary, no, I didn't find it scary.  There is a lot of talk about spiders and noises and mysterious rooms but nothing really *scary* ever really happens.  There were only two really creepy parts, and those were creepy enough to make up for the relative harmlessness of the other so-called scary things.  One was a one sided phone conversation that came in many hours after if supposedly happened.  And the other was when the main girl's little brother told her what he does at night in her room.

*shudders*

There was a lot of potential in this story but in the end it just sort of fizzled out.  There were lots of ideas planted, like the house used to have a morgue in the basement, and that there might have been cults practicing rituals years ago, and that maybe the mysterious guy living downstairs might have had a monster side to him.  But the end nothing really came from these things.  The 'real' events were much more tame and you're left wondering why it was made to seem so scandalous.  And it did seem like some things were left hanging.

Still, I enjoyed this book because it was such a quick read.  Being a diary format, there weren't a lot of annoying side stories or complicated plot twists.  I needed a break from reading all the Rick Riordan / Percy Jackson books because they were all starting to seem the same.  I needed something very different, and quick, and something stand-alone.  And this book absolutely did the trick.

If you're looking for a good scare, this is not going to get you there.  If you're looking for something quick and mildly creepy, you really should check this one out.

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