Harmony House

Nic Sheff. HarperTeen, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-233709-2
Sheff (Schizo) uses Gothic trappings to explore the many forms that addiction can take. Strange things start happening soon after Jen Noonan and her father move into Harmony House on the New Jersey shore as winter caretakers. They are both grieving the death of Jen’s alcoholic mother, yet her already religious father seems to be descending into dangerous zealotry. Soon Jen starts hearing voices, and the spooky old house isn’t helping her mood, but she has met some new friends and hopes to settle in. It’s not to be. As her father becomes increasingly consumed by religious fervor, Jen has visions of the home’s evil past and copes by taking pills. Although entertaining, Sheff’s story is rushed (especially the violent conclusion), with scares served up as if following a horror blueprint. Jen’s burgeoning “powers” aren’t explored much, and Colin, the nice local boy she meets, manifests at highly convenient times, such as to save her from a violent teen’s attack. Even so, the book’s chills might appeal to those looking for a quick, eerie read. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-233711-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-236572-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9657-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9656-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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