He’s been expecting you.


Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the ore terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

Thank you to Penguin Publishing NZ, who sent me a copy of ‘Harrow Lake’ in exchange for an honest review.
I received no compensation for this review.

Hiya bookish people!

I loved it! Horror and thriller is a somewhat difficult YA subgenre to get a hold of. Good ones, anyhow. Harrow lake was littered with suspense, thrill, horror and so many more aspects that made this book one I read in a day. I was worried about going into this book. Like I said before, good horror is a hard one to find if you aren’t willing to commit to Stephen King, but Harrow Lake, from the amazing packaging and creepy Mr Jitters art, to the thrilling thread of plot and missing time drew me in and stole my breath away. More than once.

Lola was a difficult character to like. She was a vessel for the story: someone for her Grandmother to confuse her with her mother; someone to be Nolan Nox’s daughter; someone to return to Harrow Lake and be the basis of the story. But there was nothing special about Lola. And I can look at this approach to her character in two ways. The first, that the author was lazy and needed a character to carry her story, but I find this to be the most unrealistic option of the two, since the rest of the story was so thrillingly written. The second, and my favoured option, is that Lola’s character is a result of the controlling nature that we know of her father,Nolan. (Don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler) We know that Nolan is extremely protective of Lola, and that she has to always keep in the back of her mind that Nolan wants her to be safe, be Optimal, and avoid mistakes at all costs. I like to think that the approach to Lola’s character is the cause of her father’s protective influence.

There was a small influence of romance, but it never really came across in Lola’s character other than her initial physical attraction to Carter. We never read her being emotionally connected to him other than when she states that she wished she had stolen a kiss from him at a window of opportunity. I am glad that the romance in this book wasn’t more profound, otherwise I would’ve been more disappointed that yet another YA book feels obliged to include a relationship.

The town was obviously the scene of something dark and thrilling, more than just Nightjar, the film that Nolan Nox directed that made Lola’s mother famous in the town of Harrow Lake. The sink holes, the Bone Tree, the jitterbugs, the sunken church. They are all amazing elements of the story, and I love how the book constantly linked back to the 20’s style that Nightjar was filmed in. Speaking of time, Lola did lose track of time, and have time missing from her brain, which I did find a little confusing at first but when her sleepwalking was mentioned it made more sense.

Finally, look how Penguin Publishing has packaged it! It’s amazing! I am showing one photo of the first page, to show you how the tape-like theme is continued. This scratchy / blacked out idea is only in the prologue and epilogue, so the book wasn’t missing pieces.

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I’ll see you between the pages.

15 thoughts on “

  1. wow, the packaging of the novel is so cool and definitely fits the vibe!! 😀 i’m not one for horror/thrillers haha, but it’s really refreshing to see that this YA book wasn’t obliged to include romantic relationships, and instead focused more on other elements. i loved reading this review!!! ❤ ❤

    (also, this is kinda off topic, but i would love to see a post on how you get your ARCs/proof copies! 😉 if you've already done a post on it lol, don't mind me 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am completely obsessed with how the packaging looks! I’m glad you enjoyed the review, I enjoyed the book XD

      Ooh, okay! I will pop it into my calander right now 🙂


  2. The packaging of this book is incredible, I love the style !! And I’m so glad you enjoyed this book. It sounds like it had lots of good elements !! Lots of creepy things, reminds me of a good Halloween read 😉 I also enjoy books where not everything has to be about a romance as it can sometimes be a bit rare!! Great review !!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope that the retail packaging is the same or at least similar,because it is super cool!
      It would definitely be perfect for Halloween, I’ll have to break it out then for a reread.
      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dang – I am OBSESSED with that packaging! Like, someone at Penguin knows what they’re about!

    I hadn’t heard of Harrow Lake but your review has got me super intrigued [even though I am a wuss]. I’m sure you know how obsessive and excited I get over my settings and atmosphere and this sounds so freaking cool. I mean, a sink hole? A bone tree? A SUNKEN CHURCH??? YES! WHERE DO I SIGN UP???

    Amazing review, Em ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? It is just so freaking cool! I really hop they do the retail packaging like that!
      I do, and honestly it was so freaking obsessive. I am still thinking about it because it just had one of *those* endings.
      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg I’m obsessed with the packaging and book cover! I hadn’t heard of this but it sounds really intriguing. As others have said – I really appreciate that there isn’t a romance.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You do like horror… I wish I was as brave as you xD

    This is such a great review! You talked about everything in the right amount, but my favorite part was “I am glad that the romance in this book wasn’t more profound, otherwise I would’ve been more disappointed that yet another YA book feels obliged to include a relationship.” YES, yes, yes that’s so true, someone give us more YA with less romance xD

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review! I love reading Horror and thriller books(though I don’t watch horror movies, that’s a big no-no for me) so this is officially on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh interesting packaging. I love it when books are styled differently. And I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this so much!! It sounds interesting, the elements that you mentioned are so intriguing!!

    Liked by 1 person

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