cover image Holly Horror (Holly Horror #1)

Holly Horror (Holly Horror #1)

Michelle Jabès Corpora. Penguin Workshop, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593386-21-7

This brooding horror novel by Corpora (The Fog of War) follows high schooler Evie Archer, who’s recently moved from New York to the quiet town of Ravenglass, Mass., to start a new life with her mother and younger brother following her parents’ divorce. Upon arriving, teenage local Tina informs Evie that her new abode, Hobbie House—which Tina calls Horror House—is the site of numerous bizarre incidents, most notably the unsolved disappearance of a girl named Holly Hobbie, whose body was never recovered. When Evie finds Holly’s diary and begins to unravel the history of the Horror House, her sense of reality warps and shifts as she begins hearing Holly’s voice in her head demanding that Evie uncover the truth of her disappearance. The story becomes occasionally encumbered by standard high school drama, but its myriad twists will keep readers riveted all the way to the satisfying climax. Anticipatory ambiance enlivens the well-trod haunted house premise—bursting with dark history, ghoulish ghosts, and high-stakes secrets—and grounded, rock-solid prose anchors the sinister happenings. The Archers read as white; Tina cues as Latinx. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)