Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book Review: Harmony House

Title: Harmony House
Author: Nic Shef
Genre: Young Adult | Ghosts | Paranormal 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.
After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.
A classic horror story finds a terrifying home in Harmony House, drawing on favorite tropes and edgy, modern characters to create a chilling tale of blame, guilt, and ghostly revenge (goodreads).


No, just no. 
Plot: Harmony House begins in the 19th century in a very ominous setting. From there, we are transported to 1997 to a teenaged daughter and her father who have recently just purchased an abandoned home. Of course, there is something suspicious happening in Harmony House and Jen's father seems to be affected the most. There isn't much I can say about this book. The plot moves like my grandmother driving shift-stick for the first time. None of this came together in the end and I'm still not too sure what I just read. 

Characters: No one in this book is likable. Not one person. Jen is crass and whiny while her father is extreme. He is the extreme of extreme. He is a very religious man but he's that stereotype of a crazy pastor in the boondocks. He quotes scriptures and forces his daughter to repent for all her sins, which makes her act out more. Everyone just left a bad taste in my mouth. The general interactions between characters were stilted and almost comical. There is a scene where this is a legit conversation: 

"I hate you," I tell him. 

That basically sums up everyone and their interactions with each other and I wish I was kidding. 

Worldbuilding: Harmony House is set in the 90s but there isn't anything that makes it distinctly 90s. In the beginning, there were random references to pop culture but that was about it. 

Short N Sweet: Harmony House was a confusing mystery with unlikable characters.


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