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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